Ageing is associated with significant decline in psychological, physical, and social functions contributing to disability as well as the loss of autonomy, dignity and quality of life. In particular, it is well known that aging is directly related to increase in Mild Cognitive Impairments (MCI).
It is important, at the public health and economic levels, to preventively act against prodromal signs of cognitive disability early when the process is still sensible to effective implementation of specific tailored interventions.
The assessment and care of cognitive frailties can be addressed by considering different aspects. A number of studies have shown the impact of MCI on the Activities of Daily Living (ADL). The monitoring of activities related to household, food preparation, use of telephone, etc. can provide information about cognitive aspects such as memory, executive functions, spatial orientation and attention. Moreover, it has been verified that having an active social life decreases the risk of CIs. Social life relates to every activity which is carried out outside the house including walking, being involved in charity, going shopping, being member of centers for old people, etc.
Seniors can limit their activities due to some fear of having health trouble leading to reduced mobility and loss of physical fitness. Among people over 65 years, falls are the leading cause of injury death. Many stressfull conditions such as being unable to get up off the floor after a fall, being suddenly disorientated in a shopping centre or during a walk, require a simple mean to call assistance and get rescued. In fact, keeping the independency of seniors and some degree of activity is vital but it has to be done assuring security in all times, both indoor and outdoor.
The PAPIoT system is a wearable device using the Internet-of-Things (IoT) technologies to enable the monitoring of elderly people during their everyday activities.
The device integrates hybrid localization systems for outdoor and indoor, allowing elderly people to be located in case of emergency (e.g. typical case of an old person suffering of Alzheimer’s disease who gets lost in town or leaving a specific geozone). Localization is based on a smart use and analysis of a variety of data sources, in particular on a Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver, LoRa, WiFi and Bluetooth networks. The design of a state of the art antenna structure allows the miniaturisation of this complex radiofrequency system in a wearable PAPIoT device.
The device includes an accelerometer and a pressure sensor, whose data will be used to identify the movements of the monitored person. The collected information is sent through a low-power standard LoRa communication channel to a web service that processes the data and generates alerts, reports are also available through an API.
A web and mobile application can then display the relevant data to health services and relatives, who will ensure support to the connected person.
This product is also optimised for long battery life time and it is rechargeable via a standard micro-usb charger.
PAPIoT merges indoor and outdoor geolocation technologies compatible with the low power LoRa network. Assisted GPS developed by Abeeway allows very fast Time To Fix to greatly increase battery lifetime and high sensitivity geolocation making it usable in daylight indoor location.
PAPIoT brings to life a new disruptive approach to the Silver Economy scenario: The combination of a high security indoor environment, allowed by the contact-less approach of the MentorAge® suite, with the flexibility introduced by a localisation system relying on LoRa, allowing seamless indoor and outdoor tracking. On the one hand, MentorAge® from Nively analyses in real-time the indoor space identifying various potentially dangerous situations, including all types of falls, from soft to sharp, night wandering when stepping out from bed at night... On the other hand, accurate indoor and outdoor geolocation to monitor all activities of daily life through a LoRa-enabled sensing unit.
PAPIoT integrates a high efficiency multi-band antenna in a small form factor design mitigating any human body effect . Design of small and efficient antenna for miniature device is a big challenge. But, when this device has to be placed close to a human body, it increases even more the complexity of the antenna design process.
Most of the classical antenna approach results in a 10 time efficiency reduction when placed on a human belt. The 3D antenna structure developed at the University Côte d'Azur has the capability to maintain its performance independently from its from the environment.
In Europe, average age is set to increase from 40.4 yrs in 2008 to 47.9 yrs in 2060. By 2060, life expectancy at 65 will increase by more than 5 yrs, reaching 22.4 yrs for man and 25.6 yrs for women. Between 2013-2060 the share of elderly people (65+) will grow from 17.8% to 24.8% and the number of very elderly people (i.e. aged 80+) will triplicate from 23.7 to 62.4 mill. Further, dementia affects approx. 15% of people aged 80-84 and 32.4%-48.8% at 95. At the current aging trend, this number will double every 20 years. Such a profound demographics change is calling for new care & assistance paradigms, since the current systems will be simply unsustainable.
Moreover falls increase with age: at least 40% of people aged 65+ will fall once a year and 1 out of 40 will be hospitalised. In addition, 5% of those who fall suffer from a fracture and associated complications rise significantly with age especially after 75. Finally, the fall rate can vary considerably, with lowest rate (0.65 mean per person annually) occurring in those living within communities. Those living in Long Term Care (LTC) institutions have a rate that is more than twice as high (1.7 mean per bed annually).
The challenge is to maximise autonomy of old people, making them staying at home for as long as possible while respecting their dignity, yet ensuring highest safety standards during their activities of daily living.
The PAPIoT system is a wearable device which can be designed in various aspects to be better integrated as an accessories easily accepted by senior people. We are currently working as a bracelet design or a device integrated in clothing.
Another area of investigation is a way to prevent the need of recharging the device by using energy harvesting and a smart power management system.
The user application for the senior, caregivers and heath care staff can be further enhanced and tailor to specific usages and elderly homes.