The AI audio-visual system can detect emergency situations of the elderly living alone in time

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Jean Lim
Communications Manager, APAC
June 01, 2021
An artificial intelligence video and audio monitoring system can be installed in the homes of vulnerable elderly living alone. While ensuring the privacy of the elderly, it can also accurately detect whether they have fallen at home, so that caregivers can provide timely medical attention.
Note: This is a brief translation of the original article, which was published in Chinese. 
This system is a test project jointly launched by Danish technology company Milestone Systems, Canon Inc and artificial intelligence technology company Senturian Solutions.

The system will be able to use artificial intelligence technology in the images taken by the cameras installed to analyze whether someone has fallen or fainted. The system can also accurately distinguish between normal actions such as tying shoelaces or a real fall, and in most cases, the correct alarm will be issued.

The video analytics software has also been integrated with Canon Inc.’s Moving Object Mask plug-in for Milestone Systems’ XProtect® #VMS software so fuzzy silhouettes, also known as privacy masking, can replace moving objects to protect the privacy of seniors.

In addition, the system also has additional sound analytics capabilities, which can further detect screams and calls for help, so that the system can notify the caregiver in time through sound when the elderly falls.

In an interview, Mr. Benjamin Low, vice president of Asia-Pacific region of Milestone Systems, pointed out that the company is aware of the importance of personal privacy to the elderly. Therefore, the system replaces moving objects in the image with blurred silhouettes so that viewers cannot identify the specific faces to protect privacy.

In the event of an emergency, the system will only extract key data from the video clips to identify the elderly in need, and will omit any unnecessary personal details.

Benjamin Low said: "We hope to use this experimental technology to help the elderly stay independent in a safe environment, and at the same time ensure that they can age with grace and dignity."

He also pointed out that the company intends to set up this system in community spaces where there are more elderly people living alone, or places where the elderly often gather. In order to obtain the support of the elderly, the company has also placed TV screens in these locations so that the elderly can understand the images captured by the cameras and their privacy features.    In addition, this system is also applicable to nursing homes, hospitals, and community nursing facilities.

Benjamin Low pointed out that the COVID-19 pandemic helps catalyse the adoption of technology in all aspects of society, including care for the more vulnerable elderly in our society.   Now, more people are beginning to use imaging technology for remote medical consultations and home care services. Hopefully in time to come, the elderly and wider community will have more confidence in this type of assistive technology and are willing to try it out.
This article was first published in zaobao.com on 1 June, 2021. Read it here.