Technology to transform elderly lives
© Kris1973

Technology to transform elderly lives

Scientists gathered at De Montfort University (DMU), UK, for the latest meeting of the ACROSSING project, a four-year study to develop smart and wearable devices to improve elderly patient care.

The €3.88m project began in 2016 and is led by Professor Liming Chen, of DMU’s School of Computer Science and Informatics.

The research aims to develop devices using everyday technologies such as smartphones, tablets and wearable sensors – supported by artificial intelligence (AI) and data analytics.

Ideas being pursued include a smart watch to monitor the user’s vital signs, a smartphone to detect early signs of depression by analysing behaviour patterns, or a ‘smart home’ fitted with sensors to monitor and detect subtle behaviour changes of occupants – all done unobtrusively and automatically.

ACROSSING brings together ten partners from the UK, Spain, Germany, Austria, Greece and the Netherlands, and 16 associated partners from Belgium, Italy, China, Ireland, Sweden and Switzerland, drawn from recognised research institutions, universities, and the ICT and healthcare industry.

Chen said: “This prestigious project has a real benefit for DMU.

“It raises the profile and reputation of the university and will prove our research is world-leading and world-recognised.

“We want to provide the tools that support independent living, so patients can remain in their home environment. The population is ageing, and this research isn’t just important in the UK, but right around the world.”

Funding for the ACROSSING project has come from the Horizon 2020 Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) Innovative Training Networks (ITN). In addition to supporting research, the programme has put emphasis on the training of future researchers.