"When faced with problems of the elderly in our closest family, it is us who experience major stress, not them", says Egidijus Kazanavicius, Professor at Kaunas University of Technology (KTU), Director at the Centre of Real Time Computer Systems. Kazanavicius is heading the team of researchers from KTU and Lithuanian University of Health Sciences (LSMU), who are developing the monitoring system for seniors: upon registering a fall of a person, the system sends a notification to the carers. "Falls are the leading cause of death in the elderly population and are very common problem in geriatrics, symptomatic to a wide variety of health conditions. Besides causing physical injuries, falls lower person's self-confidence to move independently, and are often a reason of various psychological problems", says Dr Vita Lesauskaite, researcher at LSMU.
Collaborating, KTU and LSMU researchers created a prototype of a monitoring system for seniors GRIUTIS, consisting of a set of fixed sensors placed in premises, and of the software. When sensors register a change in a person's behaviour or in his or her position, the alert is being sent to their family and / or carers.
The next step for the researchers is patenting of technologies and product commercialisation. It is planned that the senior monitoring system GRIUTIS will be used in geriatrics clinics as soon as the next year. Lithuanian Research Council has allocated funds for the realisation of the project.
"I tested the prototype at home, myself. It works perfectly, and I feel more relaxed knowing how my elderly mother is doing, when I am not nearby. It is a great advantage to be able to work with a team of researchers with different competencies -- together we can create truly innovative products", says Kazanavičius.
The project GRIUTIS is one of almost 10 joint projects of KTU and LSMU, which were funded by the institutional R&D funds of both Kaunas universities.