For seniors, wired homes offer independent living

Violette Roberts’ home is full of sensors. There is a device under her pillow to record how many hours she sleeps. Wires stick out from her toilet tank, transmitting how many times she flushes. Little white rectangles, about the size of matchboxes, count how many times she opens her fridge and her medicine cabinet. And there are motion detectors in every last room.

Together, these gizmos know the daily patterns of Roberts’ life inside out. And when they pick up on a change — be it a sudden lack of movement, or a gradual increase in the senior citizen’s trips to the bathroom — a nurse gets an email alert. The goal: to pick up on early warning signs of illness even before Roberts notices them herself.

If that sounds like sci-fi, think again. Devices and apps are popping up to monitor every aspect of your health: pill bottles that know whether you’ve opened them, socks that track the rhythm of your gait, and little skin-like stickers that keep constant tabs on the state of your blood.

– Stat News

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