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Harvard Medical School Doctor, UMass Team Investigate Frailty Detection for Senior Care with Butlr

Butlr Care Team


October 3, 2023


We have exciting news to share: our technology is being deployed as part of a study on frailty in seniors. Announced yesterday by UMass Amherst, the research aims to assess the viability of using passive, in-home sensing technology to identify the markers associated with frailty – a condition that affects millions of seniors and is associated with elevated levels of hospitalization.

The research is being conducted by distinguished geriatrician, Dr. Dae Kim, of Harvard Medical School and Hebrew SeniorLife, and a team of researchers UMass Amherst led by PhD Amanda Paluch, Assistant Professor of Kinesiology.

As announced by the UMass team,

The pilot study includes 60 older adults from Kim’s clinic, who have been assessed as having a range of frailty levels. Butlr affixes heat sensing devices on the ceilings of participants' homes for between two and four weeks. The participants also wear (non-Butlr) sensors on their thighs continuously for 10 days, which collect “ground truth” data on their activity, including time spent sitting and standing, walking speed, and sit-to-stand transition. Ultimately, this research will allow Butlr to develop AI algorithms for passive, heat sensor-based assessment of frailty. In addition, the researchers will conduct an acceptability survey with participants to understand how they felt about having these sensors in their homes.

What’s next? Based on the results, we aim to advance the development of a contactless in-home assessment tool for frailty using Butlr’s thermal sensing technology. Core to our technology ethos, this tool would by default protect the privacy of older adults “while avoiding any need for them to interface with the technology themselves,” as noted by UMass.

We’re incredibly grateful for the opportunity to help advance research that has the potential to improve the lives of seniors – and help health professionals deliver effective, needs-based care.

To stay tuned for more updates, email us at care@butlr.io to join our newsletter.


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