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Ramana Reddy, Lane Department of CSEE

Gerontech Lab@wvu Gerontech Lab @wvu

Transforming the Living Space into a Virtual Care Giver

As society is aging, it is imperative to find suitable technologies that can enable people of all abilities to live in their own homes longer in order to minimize the social costs associated with institutional care. In the Gerontech Lab@WVU, we are building a comprehensive system known as RANIA ( Residents Aware Network for Intelligent Assistance) to address this challenge.

Read about the RANIA System

The Gerontech Lab

Gerontechnology is a portmanteau (Gerontology and Technology) that refers to a class of technologies that can help in aging comfortably, which is the primary focus of this lab.  While there are many apps and gadgets to deal with individual situations such as fall detection, smart medicine dispenser, remote doctor visit, etc. there are no comprehensive, holistic solutions that can deal with all the challenges. This is a complex task involving many disciplines. 

At West Virginia University (USA), we put together an interdisciplinary group including Electrical Engineers, Computer Scientists, Computer Engineers, Medical and Healthcare Professionals and Social Workers to create a realistic testbed to showcase integrated solutions that can be scaled-up by start-up companies using a wide variety of resources available at the University and elsewhere. In addition, we expect this testbed to serve as a Collaboratory to enable participation from institutions around the world. We believe this project can have a profound impact on people by showcasing technologies that can enhance quality of living not only by delaying the need for institutional care but also reducing social costs associated with caring for people facing physical and cognitive challenges.

We envision a living space equipped with a variety of sensors and computer applications to become aware of the needs, wants and wishes of the residents and provide Intelligent Assistance unobtrusively. We have created a living space in a laboratory environment known as RANIA House (Residents Aware Network for Intelligent Assistance) to develop, test and showcase a variety of technology solutions that are developed at West Virginia University as well as those contributed by collaborating organizations.