Our team has developed a technological innovation that detects changes in health status that indicate impending acute illness or exacerbation of chronic illness before usual assessment methods or self-reports of illness. We successfully used this information in a 1-year prospective study to alert health care providers so they could readily assess the situation and initiate early treatment to improve functional independence. Intervention participants showed significant improvements (as compared with the control group) for the Short Physical Performance Battery gait speed score at Quarter 3 (p = 0.03), hand grip-left at Quarter 2 (p = 0.02), hand gripright at Quarter 4 (p = 0.05), and the GAITRite functional ambulation profile score at Quarter 2 (p = 0.05). Technological methods such as these could be widely adopted in older adult housing, long-term care settings, and in private homes where older adults wish to remain independent for as long as possible.
Rantz, M.J., Skubic, M., Koopman, R.J., Alexander, G., Phillips, L., Musterman, K.I., Back, J.R., Aud, M.A., Galambos, C., Guevara, R.D., & Miller, S.J. (2012). Automated technology to speed recognition of signs of illness in older adults. Journal of Gerontological Nursing, 38(4), 18-23.