While some elderly people end up in nursing homes, the overwhelming majority of them continue to lead independent lives, even well past retirement age.

Most elderly people continue to live in their own homes or, in some cases, a minimal care facility where they are provided with meals and housekeeping services. However, according to the Centers for Disease Control, the average 75 year old has three chronic conditions and uses five different prescription drugs.

As the number of elderly people continues to grow, researchers are looking for ways to improve health monitoring and care for senior citizens without requiring them to make constant trips to the doctor.

Scientists at the University of Missouri have developed a healthcare platform called ElderCare-as-a-SmartService (ECaaS), which has two key components:

  • An in-home health alert system that gathers information from sensors that monitor the patient’s movement throughout the house, changes in gait such as limping, and sleep patterns. This information allows doctors and therapists to analyze a patient’s health and offer treatment remotely.
  • An in-home remote physical therapy application that allows physical therapists to use video to assess the patient’s gait and balance, qualitatively and quantitatively.

Read more about this new cloud-based service for the elderly in the May/June 2017 issue of IEEE Cloud Computing.