Monitoring the health of the elderly at home. Smart homes - challenges and trends

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The current demographic changes have led to an investment growth in the development of smart technologies aimed at supporting the current health needs of older peoples, this field being considered of vital importance in the long-term sustainability of national health systems worldwide. In this context, the present paper presents various approaches regarding the smart technologies for elderly monitoring and personalized healthcare at home, based on environmental and / or wearable sensors. The concept of smart homes or personalized smart environment is also presented, like a solution capable of providing through sensor networks, intelligent actuators and information and communications technology, continuous monitoring, from distance, of the general state of health, safety and well-being of the older peoples. The role of smart homes is to diminish the dependence of the elderly on long-term care services provided in a formal (medical, professional etc.) or informal (family, friends etc.) system, enhancing their ability to take care of themselves and carry out the activities necessary to maintain and improve the quality of life, especially on the social and health component. The main challenges that need to be overcome in the large-scale adoption of smart technologies for assisting the care of the elderly and the transformation of housing into smart home, have been also identified.
smart homes, assistive technologies, personalized medical care, adaptive monitoring system, smart devices