'Fuzzy Logic' Could Help Create Better Elder Care

Researchers add computational mathematics to monitoring systems
By Laila Weir,  Newser User
Posted Jan 4, 2008 7:58 PM CST
93-year-old Florence "Tubby" Parsons, left, and Penny Walsh, 41, sit in Parson's apartment in Winooski, Vt., Monday, Oct. 30, 2006. Walsh, a former tenant of Parsons, now works as her in-home caregiver...   (Associated Press)
camera-icon View 3 more images

(Newser) – Researchers in the UK and US are collaborating to develop “fuzzy logic” technology to improve care for the elderly. The 6-month project aims to create more discerning medical and accident monitors that can distinguish between, for example, a slamming door and a person falling, CNET reports. So-called fuzzy logic lets computer applications make decisions based on vague data.

The challenge, one researcher says, is to create sensors that monitor patients' movement, pulse, and heart rate without encroaching on privacy. To that end, the project uses audio and silhouette visual data, but no cameras. The group hopes to have a prototype ready by the project’s end, but the system likely won’t be widely available for another 5 years.