Center for Eldercare and Rehabilitation Technology (CERT)
The Center for Eldercare and Rehabilitation Technology (CERT) is led by Marjorie Skubic, professor of electrical and computer engineering.
Since its inception in 2004, interdisciplinary projects in the Center have included the work of 50 faculty members, as well as many staff members and students. CERTs project focus is the investigation, development and evaluation of technology to serve the needs of older adults and others with physical and cognitive challenges.
The Center’s diverse personnel includes faculty from electrical and computer engineering, computer science, nursing, medicine, social work, physical therapy and health informatics. Research has resulted in a wide variety of unobtrusive sensor systems designed to facilitate what Skubic and collaborator Marilyn Rantz, an MU Curators’ Professor in the Sinclair School of Nursing, have termed “aging in place.”
The CERT team has developed an in-home health alert system with a variety of sensors to detect human behaviors and activity patterns that may signal declining health and even emergency situations. These include an under-the-mattress hydraulic bed sensor that captures pulse, respiration and restlessness; a gait analysis system that captures in-home walking speed, stride time, stride length, trunk sway and sit-to stand motions; automated fall detection with an embedded link to a depth image video of the fall; an electronic health record for monitoring chronic health conditions and automated health change alerts. These systems have been successfully piloted at TigerPlace, an active retirement community developed by Americare.
CERT has received more than $10 million in research funding from the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, and the Alzheimer’s Association, among others.
Current projects also include a screening tool for ACL injury risk and screening for poor posture and form by pianists that may lead to injury. Skubic also recently began working on a system to tap high-speed networking and openflow architectures to develop an interactive interface for remote physical therapy.
Since 2009, CERT research has resulted in over 100 published papers, four patent applications and a licensing agreement of the technology to a start-up company.