Microsoft video-game tech used to detect illness

Here's an interesting twist on the use of video game tech in health research. Researchers at the University of Missouri used video game tech such as Microsoft's ($MSFT) motion-sensing Kinect cameras, used with the software giant's Xbox gaming system, in a study to detect early signs of falls and symptoms of illness among residents of a housing community for seniors. Falls are also associated with dementia.

Another study at MU is investigating the use of Doppler radar for a fall-detection system. The system can detect changes in a person's movements that might form a recognizable pattern or "signature" that alerts the system of an increased risk of the person falling, according to the group's release. The researchers have found that both the video game and Doppler technologies are effective for early detection of falls and symptoms of illness.

"The [Microsoft] Kinect uses infrared light to create a depth image that produces data in the form of a silhouette, instead of a video or photograph," MU doctoral student Erik Stone said in a statement. "This alleviates many seniors' concerns about privacy when traditional web camera-based monitoring systems are used."

Both systems are operating at TigerPlace independent living community in Columbia, MO.

- here's the release

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