Intel-GE Care Innovations uses Microsoft's Kinect to prevent injuries to the elderly

elderly

As health care continues to improve, people are living longer and longer nowadays. While this is a great thing, it can be problematic, as a need for elder care increases. No one wants to see the elderly get hurt, but not everyone has family to take care of them.

Luckily, the needs of the elderly are not being ignored, as not only is caring for them noble, but a potential money-maker too. Today, Microsoft shares that a new solution has been created by Intel-GE Care Innovations; a joint venture between the two massive companies. What makes it particularly cool is that it utilizes the Kinect sensor, which is commonly used with the Xbox One.

"The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that each year one of three Americans over the age of 65 takes a spill, and the results can be devastating: broken bones, permanent disabilities, and complications that can lead to death. In fact, falls are the leading cause of fatal and nonfatal injuries among older adults, with studies documenting that 20 to 30 percent of the elderly who fall suffer moderate to severe injuries. In 2003, for example, about 13,700 Americans 65 years or older died from falls, and another 1.8 million were treated in emergency departments for nonfatal fall injuries. Treating elderly patients who have fallen costs about $30 billion annually in the United States today, and experts estimate that that amount could more than double by 2020, given the aging population of Baby Boomers", says the Kinect for Windows Team.

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The team further explains, "both Intel-GE Care Innovations and RespondWell saw Kinect as the logical platform for addressing fall prevention and rehabilitation among seniors. Recognizing how difficult it can be for older people to make daily visits to their therapist’s office, the teams at Intel-GE Care Innovations and RespondWell have created an interactive program that lets patients exercise in the comfort of their own home while providing Kinect-based gesture monitoring to ensure that they are performing their exercises correctly. The solution is sold to therapists and other healthcare providers".

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While some people will decry the use of cameras in their homes, it is entirely optional; no one is forcing these elderly people to be monitored. Ultimately, it is for their own safety and is not running 24/7. This simply allows the elderly to do exercises and conduct physical therapy in their own home without getting hurt. Quite frankly, it is inspiring to see technology being used to improve lives.

What do you think about using Kinect to monitor the elderly? Tell me in the comments.

Photo CreditAnn Baldwin / Shutterstock

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