23 October 2023

Suara Cooperativa, IDIBGI and La Salle-URL join forces to offer personalized support in homes with acoustic sensors

With the aim of offering personalized assistance to older people who live alone at home, Suara Cooperativa, the Dr. Josep Trueta Biomedical Research Institute of Girona (IDIBGI), the University of Girona (UdG) and La Salle-URL have worked together on SuaraMap. This project, financed by the Center for Industrial Technological Development (CDTI) of the Ministry of Science and Innovation, helps understand the needs of the group of people who require support thanks to technology.

Through acoustic sensors, the movement in the rooms of homes and the time the person spends in each of them is detected. SuaraMap allows to create an acoustic map that identifies behavioral patterns. "Sound sensors allow us to see that the person is carrying out a basic activity of normal daily life," explains Ainhoa ​​​​Montalà, member of SuaraMap.

Technology measures sensor signals, which are then processed through an algorithm that generates a sound map of the home. If the map is modified, it may indicate a change in the person's habits. "These changes in usual sound patterns could be indicative that the person is beginning a pathological process that involves a loss of functional independence, such as a neurodegenerative disorder such as Alzheimer's disease," explains Josep Garre, researcher at IDIBGI and the UdG.

The project, which has obtained funding for another two years, involves researchers from La Salle-URL, including the Research Director, Rosa Ma. Alsina, who explains: "We want to apply technology to improve care for older people living alone without interfering in their daily life." In the new phase of the project, artificial intelligence will be applied to detect cognitive deterioration in older people who live alone.