Georgia Tech and People Power Collaborate on Senior Care Project

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Georgia Tech’s Institute for People and Technology (IPaT) and IoT software company People Power are working together to collect and analyze data from in-home sensors as part of a study to better understand certain behaviors of people with mild cognitive impairment (MCI). The neurological condition creates increased challenges with memory, problem-solving, and spatial ability.

As part of the Cognitive Empowerment Program (CEP), Georgia Tech researchers first explored the People Power IoT System in the technology-equipped Aware Home, a 5,000 square foot home designed to facilitate research. The CEP’s technology team focuses on designing interventions and applications, as well as collecting data in the homes of study participants including sleep patterns, bathroom and kitchen habits, and more.

The team will use the data to empower CEP members and their care partners, through mobile apps and in-home interventions supporting independence. They'll also share key information with the CEP therapeutic team to identify where members may need further training on strategies to compensate for cognitive impairment.

“Changes in daily habits provide key indicators for informing lifestyle interventions that combat a decline in cognitive function. Through this collaboration, we have the unique opportunity to collect critical data to inform care and empower people with MCI and their care partners,” said Elizabeth Mynatt, executive director of the Institute for People and Technology and co-director of the CEP technology core.

In the Aware Home Research Initiative (AHRI), the People Power IoT System will provide device and data management and a framework for creating machine learning microservices, allowing researchers to more effectively conduct long-term studies and collect and view data, according to Brian Jones, director of the Aware Home initiative.

“What People Power is providing is the opportunity to hit the ground running on this project,” said Jones. “We can have different studies running, view all of the homes in each study, and through a web browser see the status of in-home devices that provide the system with data.”

Although the joint effort between IPaT and People Power currently focuses on adults with MCI, Jones envisions expanding it to other data science research at Georgia Tech.

People Power is a leading provider of consumer and institutional services for senior care, energy management and home security. The company’s recent introduction of a comprehensive senior care solution that brings together agencies, caregivers, clients and their families for improved senior care reconfirms their mission of helping with life’s important challenges with easy-to-use technology.

“Collaborating with Georgia Institute of Technology’s Aware Home Research Initiative is a real honor for our company,” said Gene Wang, CEO and co-founder of People Power Co. “As a technology provider for senior care solutions that address technical, design and social challenges of aging, we are delighted to assist in this important research initiative with one of the top research universities in the country.”

The company also recently partnered with the University of California Berkeley to design senior care technology for people with dementia. Learn more about People Power on their website.

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Alyson Powell Key

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Institute for People and Technology