The Role of Ambient Intelligent Environments for Tracking Functional Decline

The Role of Ambient Intelligent Environments for Tracking Functional Decline

Usman Naeem (University of East London, UK), Richard Anthony (University of Greenwich, UK), Abdel-Rahman Tawil (University of East London, UK), Muhammad Awais Azam (University of Engineering and Technology Taxila, Pakistan) and David Preston (University of East London, UK)
Copyright: © 2015 |Pages: 21
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-7373-1.ch008
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We live in a ubiquitous world where we are surrounded by context sensitive information and smart devices that are able to capture information about our surroundings unobtrusively. Making use of such rich information can enable recognition of activities conducted by elderly users, and in turn can allow the possibility of tracking any functional decline. This chapter highlights the current methods for unobtrusively recognising activities of daily living within a home environment for people with physical or cognitive disabilities. A main group for which this is important for are Alzheimer's patients. The chapter also bases the discussion of what makes a successful environment for carrying out accurate activity recognition, which is then followed by a proposed taxonomy of the key characteristics that are required for robust activity recognition within a smart environment, contextualised with real-life scenarios.
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Elderly People, Smart Homes, And Independent Living

Elderly people spend most of their time at home. While they are at home they carry out a variety of activities such as brushing teeth, taking a shower, preparing breakfast. The home is also a place where they can rest and relax, as well as socialise with friends and family.

The quality of life for an elderly person can be enhanced significantly by living in a smart home environment as a result of the extra support received from such an intelligent environment (Abascal, 2004).

Smart Homes have a variety of features and goals. A principal goal of Smart Homes is to improve the quality of life by increasing self-control that will allow the person to live an independent life, which in turn will enable self-fulfillment (Harris, 2005). Supporting independent living is also another related goal, as the smart home will make everyday life easier for the elderly. Health and fitness is important for the elderly, so another goal is to monitor the elderly person’s health to prevent any illnesses. The delivery of care and medical services are provided to the elderly people through the use of technologies within smart homes, an example of this is the emerging Telecare homes for the elderly and disabled (Noury et al., 2003).

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