Virtual Medical Assistant-Silicon Valley Campus - Carnegie Mellon University

Virtual Medical Assistant

As the baby boomer generation ages, the US census predicts a dramatic increase in persons older than 65 from 44 million in 2005 to 74 million by 2020. To cope with the massive care needs of an aging population, there must be a shift in the paradigm of care in the US. On the one hand, as people age, they would like to maintain a certain degree of independence to maintain the quality of life. Currently, in order to allow for quality care for each person, care professionals must stay with certain patients 24 hours a day, increasing cost and infringing on privacy.

To alleviate these problems, we are developing a Virtual Medical Assistant (VMA) that ubiquitously monitors medical condition of the patient. This VMA system will monitor sounds to provide easy deployment and determine events. The VMA system listens for trouble events such as coughs or sneezes to aid medical workers. We will design the system to be an opt-in system to preserve privacy. This VMA system will consist of three major layers: an inexpensive sensor network infrastructure that can ubiquitously filter out non-medical context sounds, a back-end sound processing and trend spotting agent, and a notification engine to connect medical professionals.

Contact: Pei Zhang