The TRIL Centre is a coordinated collection of research projects addressing the physical, cognitive and social consequences of ageing, all informed by ethnographic research and supported by a shared pool of knowledge and engineering resources.
The TRIL Centre’s mission is to discover and deliver technology solutions which support independent ageing, ideally in a home environment. This will improve the quality of life of older citizens while reducing the burden on carers and on the healthcare system. The Project is a collaborative effort combining Intel personnel and researchers from Irish universities and hospitals in multi-disciplinary teams.
Supporting independent ageing involves the combination of several complementary research strands into a coherent fabric. These strands include the following:
- Ethnographic and anthropological research to observe older people in their day to day lives and their interactions with carers and the healthcare system. By direct investigation and observation, ethnographic research will equip the TRIL Centre teams with a real-world understanding of what old people need, what they find acceptable and how their quality of life can be improved.
- Clinical Modeling to identify behavioural markers which can be reliably correlated with specific conditions. For example, irregular gait and stumbling could be associated with a high risk of falling. Behavioural markers that can be identified, monitored and responded to using technological aids will be central to the TRIL Centre’s outputs. Clinical experts within the centre will work with ethnographers and older people to identify these markers and to create models which link marker values to clinical variables or incidents. The following areas have been identified as most relevant for the TRIL Centre
- Falls Prevention
- Cognitive Function
- Social Connection
- The clinical research will require engineering support to collect and interpret the behavioural markers and to implement the models on a computing platform. This support will be delivered by the Technology Platform – a portfolio of software and hardware components which
- Collect behavioural marker information using sensors, hand-held devices and environmental monitors
- Communicate it to a central processing core
- Analyse it, based on the clinical models
- Provide feedback to the older person, to carers and clinicians.