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utc_osrt@uoc.edu
Market
Care Respite is a system designed for the healthcare sector. It is the ideal technology for people and institutions that devote their time to caring for dependent people.
Possible applications
The patented CARE RESPITE system offers carers improved allocation of their time spent caring for a dependent person. The system allows carers to optimize their time as they can do other tasks with the peace of mind of being able to check on the status of the dependent person any time and at any distance. They will also know that they will get an alert should any dangerous situation arise. Therefore, by using CARE RESPITE the time spent is optimized, ensuring that the dependent person will be cared for constantly.

This invention offers an alternative to the previous state of the art, with the purpose of providing a method and a system for remotely monitoring a user, which is capable of working with unidentified users, and thus without the need to use users' historic data.
The invention relates to three aspects:

  • a computer-implemented method for remotely monitoring a user.
  • a system to implement the method. 
  • a computer program to implement the processing steps of the method.

The method comprises: (1) acquiring multi-modal user data related to a monitored user using a depth camera in a local surveillance area; (2) analysing, by processing means, the data to identify user status (walking, sitting, standing, lying down, watching TV, sleeping and/or falling); and (3) presenting the status and information associated therewith, to a remote computing means, such as a smartphone or a tablet.
The method includes the following steps:

  • i) detecting the monitored user,
  • ii) performing recognition of the user,
  • iii) detecting user skeleton joint points, and
  • iv) identifying the user's status, using said processing means, by analysing at least the skeleton joint points detected in step iii) and also movement and 3D geometry.

Said processing means are implemented in local computing means connected to a depth camera. The detection is performed using colour image data and depth information. 
The remote computing means are adapted for establishing bidirectional communication with the local computing means, to allow an authorized person to control, configure and upgrade the operation settings of the local computing means. The smartphone or tablet should have a software application installed to perform the authorized control and configuration. The application also enables alarms to be set and shows the user in a display of the device.

The last aspect of the invention relates to a computer program product, which includes code instructions that, when executed in a computer, implement all the steps of the method of the first aspect of the invention, except for that of acquiring multi-modal user data.