Methodology for establishing a community-wide life laboratory for capturing unobtrusive and continuous remote activity and health data

Jeffrey Kaye, Christina Reynolds, Molly Bowman, Nicole Sharma, Thomas Riley, Ona Golonka, Jonathan Lee, Charlie Quinn, Zachary Beattie, Johanna Austin, Adriana Seelye, Katherine Wild, Nora Mattek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


An end-to-end suite of technologies has been established for the unobtrusive and continuous monitoring of health and activity changes occurring in the daily life of older adults over extended periods of time. The technology is aggregated into a system that incorporates the principles of being minimally obtrusive, while generating secure, privacy protected, continuous objective data in real-world (home-based) settings for months to years. The system includes passive infrared presence sensors placed throughout the home, door contact sensors installed on exterior doors, connected physiological monitoring devices (such as scales), medication boxes, and wearable actigraphs. Driving sensors are also installed in participants' cars and computer (PC, tablet or smartphone) use is tracked. Data is annotated via frequent online self-report options that provide vital information with regard to the data that is difficult to infer via sensors such as internal states (e.g., pain, mood, loneliness), as well as data referent to activity pattern interpretation (e.g., visitors, rearranged furniture). Algorithms have been developed using the data obtained to identify functional domains key to health or disease activity monitoring, including mobility (e.g., room transitions, steps, gait speed), physiologic function (e.g., weight, body mass index, pulse), sleep behaviors (e.g., sleep time, trips to the bathroom at night), medication adherence (e.g., missed doses), social engagement (e.g., time spent out of home, time couples spend together), and cognitive function (e.g., time on computer, mouse movements, characteristics of online form completion, driving ability). Change detection of these functions provides a sensitive marker for the application in health surveillance of acute illnesses (e.g., viral epidemic) to the early detection of prodromal dementia syndromes. The system is particularly suitable for monitoring the efficacy of clinical interventions in natural history studies of geriatric syndromes and in clinical trials.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere56942
JournalJournal of Visualized Experiments
Issue number137
StatePublished - Jul 27 2018


  • Aging
  • Aging in place
  • Independent living
  • Pervasive computing
  • Smart home
  • Technology
  • Unobtrusive monitoring

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)


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