Stephen Baker

The Numerati
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You will be monitored, step by step

September 7, 2011Hop Skip Go

I think I should have been more emphatic in The Numerati. From the 2020s on, practically every senior in the industrial world will be monitored by sensors in his or her home. That includes me and, if you're not already in your golden years, it includes you. My "Patient" chapter in the book focused on Intel's efforts to monitor seniors in the Portland area, research that also spread into Ireland. National economies desperately need to save money on health care, and developing technology that can monitor seniors and intervene before they get sick, and before they fall, is simply too sensible to pass up.

Now I get this news about a similar initiative in Missouri.One interesting wrinkle is the use of technology originally developed for gaming, Microsoft's Kinect. And they use the depth perception of the camera to view the subjects as silhouettes, which protects a bit of their privacy. You can assume that if you don't reach your 70s until, say, the 2030s, the technology will be remarkably effective and, at the same time, discreet. Then again, once it works well on older people, why not extend it to everyone else? That's the future I see.

MU Researchers Use New Video Gaming Technology to Detect Illness, Prevent Falls in Older Adults from MU News Bureau on Vimeo.

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