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New sensor system keeps elderly safe in their homes

Home Guardian : 28 March, 2008  (New Product)
Home Guardian has released a suite of sensors that non-intrusively monitor the health status of seniors in their homes while enabling professional caregivers to focus on providing needed care.
The system can also detect falls, which constitute the largest cause of injuries for people over age 65 in the USA.

A team of researchers developed the systems originally from the University of Virginia's Medical Automation Research Center (MARC) in partnership with two nationally recognized not-for-profit senior care and service providers, The Evangelical Lutheran Good Samaritan Society (Sioux Falls) and the Volunteers of America (VOA) National Services (Alexandria, Virginia, USA).

Immediate benefits of the sensor systems - as shown in carefully controlled studies done by The Evangelical Lutheran Good Samaritan Society and the Volunteers of America National Services - include:

* A reduction of the cost of care of nearly 75 percent
* Increased feelings of safety and security in participants
* Less job-related stress for caregivers

The development of this technology was first funded through a grant from the Carilion Biomedical Institute in Roanoke, Virginia, USA. 'The individuals at Carilion chose us to develop a solution that would revolutionise the care for large numbers of baby boomers,' stated Dr Majd Alwan, Home Guardian co-founder and now director of the Center for Aging Services Technologies.

'We were pleased to have the additional support from the University of Virginia's Darden Graduate School of Business and the T100 Alumni Mentoring Program to assist with further validation of the potential of the solution,' said MARC's director, Dr Robin Felder.

'We are thrilled this research has led to a significant advancement in the way we can care for our nation's seniors. With these tools, our organization - and many others - will be able to help the seniors we serve to receive quality care in their homes while enjoying an increased sense of security and safety,' said David J Horazdovsky, president and chief executive officer of The Evangelical Lutheran Good Samaritan Society.

Charles W Gould, VOA's chief executive officer, added, 'As an organization, we are dedicated to finding ways to help seniors live as independently as possible for as long as possible. The revolutionary sensor technology developed by Home Guardian will help in our mission to keep seniors healthy and safe, while also allowing them to live in their own homes and maintain their much-valued privacy.'

Additional studies are currently being conducted with MorseLife (West Palm Beach, Florida), focusing on the health and wellbeing of their residents. Florida is the state that boasts the highest number of residents over 65 years of age. Home Guardian expects to ramp up production volume and begin deploying systems nationwide in mid-2008.
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