Researchers from Carnegie Mellon have developed a new system for tracking nursing home patients in real life, and the system doesn’t even need a human operator. Using facial recognition and color tracking software with a couple of algorithms mixed in, they have made a system that in its first generation already has an accuracy rate of 88%.
The researchers who developed the system give credit to the Harry Potter series for inspiring them to create a tracking system based on the idea of The Marauder’s Map from the series in which everyone’s location within the building is accurately represented on a map.
Creating a system such as this is not an easy task. It has been attempted before but usually in highly controlled lab settings and with much less accuracy. Previous systems have only had a success rate of up to 50% as to knowing where a person is at any given time. The current system, which was developed in a fully operational nursing home, can predict with higher accuracy and can deal with potential problems such as out of place furniture, opening and closing doors, and people with unpredictable behavior.
Elderly people, especially those in nursing homes, need to be carefully watched in case something bad happens to them. Coming from a law firm that handles nursing home abuse cases regularly, we know how easy it is for an elderly person to become injured in a nursing home. This system, once fully developed, can help save the lives of people’s elderly loved ones.
On the other hand, while tracking the elderly in a nursing home seems reasonable to most people, many could see this automated people tracking system as something that could impose on the rights of free Americans. If this system is so accurate, and will become more accurate, who else will want to use this system to track people in their everyday lives? Should this be allowed?