TELEpHOne Monitor for the Elderly (TELEHOME)

Period of Performance: 09/15/2006 - 03/01/2009

$125K

Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Barron Assoc., Inc.
CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA 22901
Principal Investigator

Abstract

DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): Project Summary/Abstract: Barron Associates, Inc. proposes to develop a Telephone Monitor for the Elderly (TELEHOME), a low-profile, waist-worn, wireless personal monitor with built-in speakerphone. Functions provided by the TELEHOME system include: (1) monitoring/alerting for fall events, personal emergencies, activity/inactivity, and wandering; (2) automatic connection of mobile speakerphone to call recipient in response to an emergency event, or to calling parties for incoming telephone calls; (3) capability for family members and friends to stay abreast of in-home activity patterns of monitored individuals (e.g., track transitions through areas of the home, daily step counts, etc.) through automatically-generated telephone voice or e-mail message updates; and (4) recorded voice message delivery to mobile speakerphone to remind monitored individuals to take their medication, etc. The TELEHOME system is easy to operate, and requires no modifications to the home or involvement of a third-party monitoring company (eliminating high monthly fees). The TELEHOME system will be invaluable to informal caregivers, such as adults who have an elderly parent living alone, who want to ensure that those in their charge are up and about each day. It will also provide peace of mind to elderly persons who want to continue to live independently, but have a safety net in place. The role of informal caregivers (i.e., family, friends, and neighbors), as contrasted with formal compensated home care providers, has increased greatly over the past 2 decades in the U.S. due to changes in the Medicare system. 1 way to lessen the burden on informal providers and provide peace of mind, as well as increase quality of care and quality of life for elders, is to make available a low-cost monitoring system that would allow potential emergencies to be identified when they occur and enable family and friends to stay abreast of activity patterns of those in their charge. Commercial personal monitoring systems available today provide incomplete coverage of potential emergency events, and are too expensive.