Unobtrusive Smart Environments for Independent Living and the Role of Mixed Methods in Elderly Healthcare Delivery
The USEFIL Approach
In this chapter the authors describe a novel approach to healthcare delivery for the elderly as adopted by USEFIL, a research project which uses unobtrusive, multi-parametric sensor data collection to support seniors. The system is based on everyday devices such as an in-mirror camera, smart TV, wrist-mountable personal communicator and a tablet computer strategically distributed around the house. It exploits sensor data fusion, intelligent decision support for carers, remote alerting, secure data communications and insurstorage. A combined quantitative and qualitative knowledgebase was established and analysed, target groups were established among elderly prospective users and scenarios were built around each group. Use cases have been prioritised according to quantitative functional and non-functional criteria. Our research findings suggest that an unobtrusive system such as USEFIL could potentially make a significant difference in the quality of life of elderly peopl e, improve the focus of provided healthcare and support their daily independent living activities.