Aging Sensors

A new technological innovation may help doctors better treat their aging patients.

In  home sensors are being used to make a kind of high-tech house call.

Audrey mitchell keeps busy. Even when alone, her mind is active.

But the 73-year-old widow worries about advancing age and the physical and mental problems that can come with that.

"I know from some friends of mine that for a period of time they can fool you if they're beginning to have memory problems."

Audrey wants to make sure that if she ever suffers from dementia, it's caught early.

So she's agreed to take part in a year-long study.

Researchers installed nine sensors in her one-thousand square foot apartment.

These sensors track her every move on a central computer.

"we can measure general levels of activity by putting switches on the cabinets and refrigerators. We can start to see patterns of behavior."

The sensors pick up a patient's walking speed.

Even the strength of his or her voice can be monitored.

The data gives doctors much more than just an office visit "snapshot" of their patient.

"If you actually have the individual's pattern, a record of that continuously over time, you can begin to actually prescribe specific programs and interventions for that individual."

For Audrey, that's comforting, because she wants to enjoy a healthy life as long as possible.

"I'm in favor of anything that may help to keep you independent."

These sensors may help ensure an active life for years to come.