Redesigned Monitoring System for Television Usage and Light/Dark Room for Older People Living Alone

Kento Komatsu, Takatoshi Suenaga, Juhyon Kim, Kazuki Nakajima
Vol. 12 (2023) p. 101-107

For older people who live alone, we previously designed a system that enabled family members at distant locations to monitor television (TV) usage and other activities of the older people, and the system has been used for over 10 years. This system comprises personal computers (PCs) that run on Microsoft Windows® operating system (OS) and a few sensors. The system forwards the TV usage data of the older person to family members through free e-mail. To operate the PCs safely for a longer period, regular updating of the OS and antivirus environment is necessary. Furthermore, the previous systems connected to the internet should be protected against cyberattacks to ensure information security and continuous system operation. To reduce the needs for system maintenance, we redesigned the existing monitoring system by incorporating sensors and microcomputers with an Arduino integrated development environment. A feasibility test was conducted for the new system, in which a 76-year-old woman and her family participated. Our findings showed that the new system was significantly maintenance-free, and the device size, when installed next to the TV, was approximately 90% smaller than the previous design. In addition, the new system performed as efficiently as the previous system.