IBM Research and Rice University explore Watson-Powered robot aimed at aiding elderly

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IBM Research and Rice University explore Watson-Powered robot aimed at aiding elderly

Press releases may be edited for formatting or style | December 09, 2016 Health IT
AUSTIN, Texas, Dec. 8, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- IBM (NYSE: IBM) Research today announced the creation of the prototype IBM Multi-Purpose Eldercare Robot Assistant (IBM MERA) done in collaboration with Rice University. IBM MERA is a first of a kind Watson-enabled application designed to help assist the elderly and their caregivers. IBM Research also has plans to work with Sole Cooperativa, an independent healthcare provider in Italy, to instrument senior housing with sensors to monitor day-to-day activities of its residents.

According to the United Nations, the number of people aged 60 years or older is projected to grow by 56 percent worldwide by 2030. To help improve eldercare resulting from this rapidly growing demographic, IBM Research has opened a new "Aging in Place" environment in its ThinkLab in Austin designed to mimic the types of interactions elders may have in their homes. By leveraging IBM MERA, the Internet of Things, and other cognitive-powered technologies, IBM can study how data from atmospheric, motion & falling, audio and olfactory sensors could be used by the ecosystem of caregivers to potentially improve healthcare and wellness as physical or environmental conditions change.

IBM Has Created a Multi-Purpose Eldercare Robot Assistant in Collaboration with Rice University. George Chen, a Rice University PhD student, has his heart and respiratory rates measured by a prototype IBM Multi-Purpose Eldercare Robot Assistant (IBM MERA), as IBM Research Staff Member Jinho Lee, left, observes during a demonstration at the IBM "Aging in Place" research environment in Austin, Texas. IBM and Rice University have collaborated to create a Watson-enabled robot designed to aid the elderly and caregivers. (Photo by Jack Plunkett/Feature Photo Service for IBM)

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IBM Has Created a Multi-Purpose Eldercare Robot Assistant in Collaboration with Rice University. George Chen, a Rice University PhD student, has his heart and respiratory rates measured by a prototype IBM Multi-Purpose Eldercare Robot Assistant (IBM MERA), as IBM Research Staff Member Jinho Lee, left, observes during a demonstration at the IBM "Aging in Place" research environment in Austin, Texas. IBM and Rice University have collaborated to create a Watson-enabled robot designed to...

"Now is the time to invest in, care for, protect, and empower our aging population so they can live more independent lives," said Arvind Krishna, Senior Vice President, IBM Research. "Our new research on 'embodied cognition,' which can combine real-time data generated by sensors with cognitive computing, will explore how to provide clinicians and caregivers with insights that could help them make better care decisions for their patients."

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