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What is Unobtrusive Research

Handbook of Research on Innovations in the Diagnosis and Treatment of Dementia
Science research based on data collection which does not involve direct elicitation of data from the research subjects. An example would be the extraction of a subject’s sleeping schedule based on examination of a log containing the setting and snoozing times of the mobile phone alarm clock. A counter-example (obtrusive research) would be to directly interview the subject and ask them for this information or to dispatch a researcher to the subject’s residence to monitor and log the occupant’s daily habits.
Published in Chapter:
Unobtrusive Smart Environments for Independent Living and the role of Mixed Methods in Elderly Healthcare Delivery: The USEFIL Approach
Alexander Astaras (Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece & American College of Thessaloniki, Greece), Hadas Lewy (Maccabi Healthcare, Israel), Christopher James (University of Warwick, UK), Artem Katasonov (VTT Technical Research Center, Finland), Detlef Ruschin (Fraunhofer Heinrich Hertz Institute, Germany), and Panagiotis D. Bamidis (Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-8234-4.ch015
In this chapter the authors describe a novel approach to healthcare delivery for the elderly as adopted by USEFIL, a research project which uses unobtrusive, multi-parametric sensor data collection to support seniors. The system is based on everyday devices such as an in-mirror camera, smart TV, wrist-mountable personal communicator and a tablet computer strategically distributed around the house. It exploits sensor data fusion, intelligent decision support for carers, remote alerting, secure data communications and storage. A combined quantitative and qualitative knowledgebase was established and analysed, target groups were established among elderly prospective users and scenarios were built around each group. Use cases have been prioritised according to quantitative functional and non-functional criteria. Our research findings suggest that an unobtrusive system such as USEFIL could potentially make a significant difference in the quality of life of elderly people, improve the focus of provided healthcare and support their daily independent living activities.
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