New technology helps to remotely monitor the health of the elderly around the clock


Remote monitoring systems for the elderly are nothing new, but Japanese conglomerate Marubeni‘s technology seems to be particularly advanced. And unlike you might think, it’s not based on robotics, but on a sensor system. It enables families and medical institutions to remotely check the health of older people around the clock – as long as the person in question keeps wearing a small sensor on the chest.

Developed by the Advanced Institute of Wearable Environmental Information Networks (yes, we have organizations like this over here), the sensor measures just 3x3cm and is 5mm thick. Operators are able to check vital signs like a person’s body temperature or heart rate at all times. The data collected is sent to a computer that has to be located near the person who’s being monitored and analyzed constantly using special software.

Marubeni says the main merit of their technology, when compared to similar remote monitoring systems, is that the individuals using it aren’t required to do anything, i.e. push buttons to indicate to others they are alright.

The technology is already being marketed in Japan. Sensors cost around $350 each, while Marubeni charges $110 monthly for using the software. The company aims at generating $11 million in sales in the first year with the system.

Via The Nikkei [registration required, paid subscription]