My friend Dr. Joel Isaacson and his family live in Rehovot in a lovely wood house. The first thing you notice when walk into the Isaacson kitchen is a an old IBM Thinkpad computer hanging from the wall at the entrance. I asked Joel what was the deal and he said that the obsolete laptop now runs Asterisk – a soft switch and provides them with voice mail, call routing and access to cookbooks and recipes.
Fast forward to 2013, researchers at the Technical University of Munich have have designed a system for helping older people live at home that employs a similar idea of hanging a computer on the wall – only this time it’s a tablet embedded in the wall.
The objective is to enable older people to retain as much of their independence as possible and assist them with commodity, off-the-shelf technology.
Although the tablet seems to be at it’s early stages of development, support technology like the embedded wall tablet have great potential, and ultimately be a smart routing mechanism for the family physician and caregivers enabling them to receive alerts and be more proactive with care for home-bound elderly people.
The tablet is an information center and central monitor – providing key information like bus schedules, and family phone numbers. The tablet can alert you if you try and leave the house without taking the key and track other items that are often misplace.
Biosensors can measure vital signs so the system can recommend exercise or medication, or alert a physician or telemedicine service on a critical health issue.
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