Small Devices, Big Data

Sensor technology is gradually transforming public health and is becoming of increasing interest in medical and clinical applications.

Translating big data collected from sensors into useful healthcare insights is of particular relevance. For instance, data from activity sensors and physiological sensors can be correlated with health information to identify health risks and problems. GRaCE-AGE, a project within the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) Health, is doing just that – employing sensor technology for the purpose of understanding, supporting and promoting healthy, active ageing.

GRaCE-AGE is a web-based mental-health support system utilizing medically validated sensors in monitoring and managing mental health risk and wellbeing in older adults. GRaCE-AGE is a derived from GRaCE (Galatean Risk and Care Environment), the enhanced and extended version based on Galatean Risk and Safety Tool (GRiST), which is a computer program containing mental health risk and safety expertise that has been developed with clinicians and patients over a period of fifteen years.

Data collected from one or more sensors is analysed and interpreted in the light of questions used by assessors for evaluating safety and wellbeing, which then simulates answers given by assessors. Table 1 shows a list of GRiST parameters and the sensor data output for such applications.

Using collated data input from older adults and various sensors, its inbuilt expertise will highlight any health or safety problems, compute a next course of action, and connect them to their care network to elicit help if necessary. This system aims to engage older adults while facilitating communication with people in their care network, clinical services and expert advice so that they are able to live safely and with a peace of mind.

With the rapid rise in the proportion of older people in society, there is an increasing concern to address the specific needs of this population. Maintaining mental, social, and physical health are as important in old age as in early years, and are important in prolonging independence and quality of life.


To find out more about sensor technology and its applications, contact us!

To find out more about GRaCE-AGE, click here.