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Video game technology to predict falls and illness?

Video game technology to predict falls and illness?
7th September 2011

New video gaming technology has been used to detect illness and prevent falls in older people, scientists report, potentially helping those soon to find a care home.

A study carried out at the University of Missouri revealed that two devices commonly used in video games can detect the early onset of illness and fall risk in older people.

The Microsoft Kinect was used to monitor behaviour and routine changes in older people, which are known to indicate increased risk of falling or early symptoms of illness.

Doctoral student, Erik Stone commented: "The Kinect uses infrared light to create a depth image that produces data in the form of a silhouette, instead of a video or photograph,"

"This alleviates many seniors' concerns about privacy when traditional web camera-based monitoring systems are used."

This follows research from Washington University in St Louis which found that people with brain changes indicative of Alzheimer's could be at a higher risk of falling than those with relatively healthy brains.

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