PSU develops close circuit image analysis program to assist in taking care of the elderly via the Internet

Mr. Nikhom Suwannaworn, Ph.D from Computer Engineering Department, Faculty of Engineering, PSU. revealed that he and Asst. Prof. Pornchai Phrukphatthranon, Ph.D., a lecturer from Electrical Engineering Department who is an expert in medical and engineering rehabilitation image analysis have developed a program to process and analyze motion pictures for use in monitoring the elderly for their slips and falls so their children can watch their movements via the Internet. This study is funded by the National Electronics and Computer Technology Center: NECTEC.

At present, it was found that there is an increasing number of the elderly as a result of advances in medical technology and increasing awareness in healthcare. However, falls and unconsciousness can still occur to everyone. The research team, hence, has developed a smart center to facilitate the monitoring via distance watch which does not interfere with the elderly daily routines. The program for image processing was invented to analyze the elderly activities for mishaps.

The monitoring of slips and falls usually uses a sensor fitted with an electronic circuit to be worn by the elderly at all time, causing inconveniences. With the advances in computer vision or image processing for the computer to understand or identify objects more efficiently and the close circuit camera price decrease, it is now possible to bring in computer vision technology and close circuit cameras for use in monitoring the slips and falls, enabling the elderly to lead their daily life freely.

The program can detect slips and falls using information about width, length, axis and speed in image processing that can detect slips and falls with 66.67% accuracy and for persons with prominent characteristics, the detection is even more accurate (80%).