INCAIR Precision Model for In-Home Monitoring for Seniors

INCAIR Precision Model for In-Home Monitoring for Seniors

Background

According to the US census bureau, America's elderly population is currently growing at a moderate pace. However growth will soon become rapid. So rapid that by the middle of this century, there could be more people who are elderly (65 or over) than young (14 or younger). This would equate to 1 in 5 people being over the age of 65 by 20301.
 
Most seniors wish to continue to live independently in their own homes, without being a burden on their children. Moving into expensive senior housing communities or hiring at-home full-time caregivers is a last resort. However, families must have confidence that a senior can live independently without incident, and if something were to happen, have assurances that caregivers or emergency services can quickly be contacted to provide assistance.
 
As part of an International Design Competition, Jun Young Park, a senior Industrial Design student at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, under the guidance of Professor Sung Soo Shin, developed a new design for an in-home monitoring device that alleviates some of the concerns that seniors and their families experience when they live alone.

Goal

Many monitoring devices are available in the marketplace, but choosing the right product with all of the necessary features can be difficult. Less expensive monitoring devices may not have enough functionality, while more costly models often have more features than are really needed. In addition, many come with expensive monthly monitoring fees. Installing and then using the traditional monitoring devices on the market proved to be even more difficult and confusing, especially for seniors. A new monitoring device with an intuitive design is needed to support the senior’s wish to live independently as long as possible.
 
The design team set out to develop a more cost-effective, simplistic monitoring device that offers a practical approach by ensuring appropriate service and functionality without breaking the bank.

Challenges

Model Solution, a Laird company, became involved with the students in the design competition, and built the prototype model of the in-home monitoring device. Two major issues were encountered during manufacturing, which the Illinois student and the Model Solution engineers worked on together in order to meet the design requirements. The monitoring device model was difficult to machine due to its long length. Second, the model had removable parts, which were again difficult to handle because of its long length.

Solution

Once the machining issues were understood and resolved, a prototype of the in-home monitoring device was built. The process for developing the prototype model included internal design decisions, CNC machining, wet sanding, finishing and final assembly. The in-home monitoring device was built from ABS, acrylic, urethane rubber, aluminum and brass. 

Results

INCAIR, an in-home monitoring device, was designed as an aid for seniors living independently. It has features that include a motion sensor which will notify caregivers immediately if the senior falls, so they can check on his condition. It has an aluminum filter to keep dust from clogging the device, which can be wiped clean or removed and rinsed before replacing it. It features a speaker that plays music or nature sounds, which is controlled by a smartphone via Bluetooth. It also features set-up instructions that are easy to understand and written in a large typeface, direct phone lines to distant caregivers and emergency personnel, and in-home monitoring without the expense of a monthly fee.
 
 

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INCAIR In-Home Monitor for Independent Living Seniors
Features fully mechanical design in ABS, acrylic, urethane rubber, aluminum and polished brass
INCAIR In-Home Monitor for Independent Living Seniors - Back
Features fully mechanical design in ABS, acrylic, urethane rubber, aluminum and polished brass
INCAIR In-Home Monitor for Independent Living Seniors - Front
Features fully mechanical design in ABS, acrylic, urethane rubber, aluminum and polished brass
INCAIR In-Home Monitor for Independent Living Seniors - Open
Features fully mechanical design in ABS, acrylic, urethane rubber, aluminum and polished brass
INCAIR In-Home Monitor for Independent Living Seniors - Port
Features fully mechanical design in ABS, acrylic, urethane rubber, aluminum and polished brass