AIP Bulletin

Helping you AIP in your home, your way.

August 2010

AIPatHome - Helping you AIP in your home, your way.

"I don't think it's about the joys of aging. It's the joys of living."

Bob Cushman
AIP Digital Healthtech:  Contact Lens That Monitors Your Health

Imagine: a glucose monitor for diabetics directly on the eye. Cholesterol checking or infection detection. Blood screening available anytime. Even a computer display.

Contact lens that could monitor your health.
Health monitoring contact lens on a rabbit's eye.  Picture courtesy of University of Washington

This is the vision of Babak Parviz, an innovation professor and researcher at the University of Washington. During his presentation, "What if your contact lenses could show you images?"  at the August colloquium at the NASA Langley Reid Conference Center, Parviz explained new technology being developed that someday will be integrated into devices millions use now to avoid wearing glasses.

"With our expertise, which is in building really tiny devices, we are interested in turning a contact lens into a functional system that does a lot more than just improve vision," Parviz said.

"A lot of people may not know that the surface of the eye is covered by live cells," Parviz said of the initial push toward biomedical monitoring. "Every time that you see something, light from the outside is going through live cells of your body to reach the retina in your eye."

Sensors on the contact lenses could monitor the body chemistry and gather information that will determine the health status of the person.

"In a sense, you can monitor what happens in the body without going inside," Parviz said.

Babak Parviz, leads research at the University of Washington, developing multiple uses for contact lenses. Photo courtesy of  NASA/Sean Smith.

Information display is in the more distant future. For example, it's possible that a computer screen will be part of a contact lens, rather than a person depending on a display on a computer monitor or a smart phone.

The ultimate goal is to produce an energy-efficient, lightweight, non-intrusive device that is affordable, disposable and works continuously.

This is by no means a simple task.

"It's absolutely not science fiction anymore," Parviz said. "We are talking about constructing very sophisticated contact lenses."

Click here to continue reading the rest of the story online.

AIP Pro Tip: Too Close For Comfort

Accessible home remodel featuring elevator with window.

One of the many challenges for Alward Construction in creating a fully accessible home from a turn of the century farm home was making it possible for the owner to get from one floor to another. Especially to his favorite level: the basement which includes a theater, food prep & dining area, sunken barbecue patio and an accessible full bathroom.

An elevator seemed the obvious solution. However, the owner was uncomfortable in closed spaces.

Solution? Add a window to the elevator and windows in the shaft to let in natural light.

Click here to see more pictures online.


Survey Says: Caregivers Driving Market for Home Health Monitoring Services

Almost 20% of U.S. consumers who care for an ill family member are willing to pay out-of-pocket for a home health monitoring service, almost double the number who would purchase the service for themselves, according to Parks Associates.

The international research firm's Uptake of Personal Health Tools & Services found consumer motivations for adopting home health monitoring include concerns they will be unable to accurately measure and track their loved one's vital signs. They also fear they will be unable to detect warning signs of health decline for their loved ones, and they see home monitoring as a good solution. The survey also found over seventy percent of people caring or planning to care for a fragile senior said their primary concern was the person in their care would take an accidental fall.

Uptake of Personal Health Tools & Services surveyed U.S. Internet households on their adoption and impressions of various personal health technologies and services, including but not limited to home health monitoring, fall detection, location tracking, and medication management.

AIP Lifestyle: Recommended Viewing

Ten Fellows from the Columbia School of Journalism reported on the graying nation for News 21. Their reporting included video portraits of the variety of ways older Americans are living: off-the grid, assisted living and naturally occurring retirement communities and more. Click here to watch.

New York Times: How Seniors Live

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