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Wireless Health Institute

Gary and Mary West Foundation today committed $45 million to create the West Wireless Health Institute, one of world’s first medical research organizations dedicated to advancing health and well-being through the use of wireless technologies. Scripps Health has signed on as the founding health care affiliate, with Qualcomm as a founding sponsor.

“The rapid and remarkable progress in wireless sensors – continuously tracking important parameters such as blood sugar, blood pressure, all vital signs, sleep state and even caloric intake and expenditure – has the potential to change medicine in a radical way”.

More info here.

Using sensors to help elderly people stay safe in their homes

joseph-haydukFrom the intro to a front-page story in The NY Times:

Increasingly, many older people who live alone are not truly alone. They are being watched by a flurry of new technologies designed to enable them to live independently and avoid expensive trips to the emergency room or nursing homes.

Bertha Branch, 78, discovered the power of a system called eNeighbor when she fell to the floor of her Philadelphia apartment late one night without her emergency alert pendant and could not phone for help.

A wireless sensor under Ms. Branch’s bed detected that she had gotten up. Motion detectors in her bedroom and bathroom registered that she had not left the area in her usual pattern and relayed that information to a central monitoring system, prompting a call to her telephone to ask if she was all right. When she did not answer, that incited more calls — to a neighbor, to the building manager and finally to 911, which dispatched firefighters to break through her door. She had been on the floor less than an hour when they arrived.