MIT Researchers Develop ‘Sapple’ Sensors To Monitor People’s Health Using Home Appliances

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COVID-19 pandemic has made us conscious of our practices, urging us to sanitize and to watch our health habits. Devices like the Apple Watch and other fitness trackers monitor our health. Now, researchers at MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab (CSAIL) are taking it a step further with 'Sapple' sensors to track habits and challenges of people.

MIT Researchers Develop ‘Sapple’ Sensors To Monitor People’s Health

 

Sapple Explained

Sapple is the new system developed at CSAIL to better understand when and where in-house appliances are being used, including devices like hairdryers, stoves, washing machines, microwaves, and so on. The researchers believe that keeping a track of these devices could help inform healthcare practitioners about people's habits and the challenges they face.

Sapple involves placing two sensors in a person's home, which would determine the usage patterns of various appliances like stoves, hairdryers, and more. Here, one sensor is location-based and works using radio signals to calculate the area the person walking in the bounds of their space. The second sensor measures the energy usage while the person is at home and combines the data with the first location sensor.

Together, the sensors determine and measure the energy use signals with physical locations of specific applicants to ultimately provide data on when and for how long a person is using an appliance around the house.

Sapple Benefits

The MIT researchers have developed the Sapple system to provide information to health professionals if their patients are taking proper care of hygiene, food preparation, intake, movement, and so on. The Sapple system is quite similar to a few other systems already in use like simple voltage meters and more.

 

Of course, appliances have specific energy use patterns, allowing the sensors to identify them based on consumption. At the same time, it could be hard to tell when and how these appliances are being used with the data on its own.

Sapple Privacy, Security Issues

Like most devices and systems today, the Sapple system also raises questions of privacy and security. However, the researchers noted that the Sapple is to be used in specific cases like supervised care of the aging population or those terminally ill. Considering how social distancing could be the new norm, the Sapple system could help monitor patients with two simple sensors.

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