Designing Usafe: An Analysis System that Tracks Unusual Behavioural Patterns to Support Elderly People Living Safely at Home Alone

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  • Many elderly live in their own homes as they age, but their specific challenges in achieving this goal are unknown.
    The elderly may face daily frustrations and difficulties in their everyday activities. (Clark, Czaja, & Weber, 1990;
    Rogers, Meyer, Walker, & Fisk, 1998). Unless the elderly take good care of themselves, they may become a burden
    for their family members and could place them in an unhealthy situation. Almost 90% of older people living alone
    express a keen desire to maintain their independence (Daniel B. Kaplan, Barbara J. Berkman , 2021). In the case
    of older people living alone, health and welfare can often be promoted by using some current existing technologies
    such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Internet of Things (IoT), resulting in numerous benefits that enable people to
    accomplish their goals.
    Therefore, this could cause significant safety issues. Today, the lack of an elderly-serving information technology
    ecosystem needs to develop because home maintenance is essential to support a safe and healthy environment for
    the elderly. The goal of elderly-serving development is inclined to turn towards Smart Home Technology (SHT) when
    thinking about how home automation, AI and IoT technologies can build an ecosystem of serving independent-living
    elderly. For decreasing the physical risk of elderly who live independently and understand how these service-oriented
    information technologies can benefit to elderly’s life, my graduate thesis project focuses on helping the elderly living
    independently stay safer and healthier at home by monitoring and analyzing their unusual behavioural patterns within
    the mobile application “system”, work on communicating that this is an overall system and the app is just one part of it
    . Their family caregivers can utilize existing innovative technologies in AI and IoT to help care for their loved ones.
    Family caregiver interviews were conducted to learn how family members usually take care of their elderly parents;
    Conducting elderly interviews helped to learn about the needs, thoughts, demands, behaviours, and activities of
    ageing people who live live independently; Expert interviews were approached from the fields of AI, Human-Computer
    Interaction (HCI) and Older Adults & Family Caregiving to 1) inform how decision-making in AI can change the way
    we behave our daily activities, 2) address the concept of service design and design thinking which utilize the available
    resources of designers to seek innovative insights to address the current needs while creating solutions to everyday
    problems and 3) specify a variety of information about caregivers for seniors including family responsibilities, social
    interaction and living circumstances.
    For the proposed design response, a monitoring mobile application as part of the Usafe system is designed for family
    caregivers to monitor and analyze their elderly loved ones’ daily activities. From the elderly’s end, the ecosystem
    of the Usafe platform I designed enables the elderly to live independently at home to stay healthy and safe. Usafe
    begins with camera-based sensors placed throughout the elderly home and employs safety notification alerts to push
    to family caregivers’ phones when the system catches any usual activities. Employing AI and IoT technologies, The
    Usafe system can detect unusual activities and lead to safer living.
    Technology can be frustrating and daunting for older adults who have not grown up with it as younger generations
    have. However, the advantages of technology for the elderly who look to live independently are far-reaching, and
    these creative innovations will inspire and allow individuals to live their better lives longer (Ageing, I., 2018).

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    Research Material
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    Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International