Converting Security Tools Into Health Technology

December 18, 2008

Carnegie Mellon's Yang Cai, a senior systems scientist and director of the Ambient Intelligence Lab at Carnegie Mellon CyLab, is working with a team of researchers to develop health-monitoring systems from security tools. "We have developed a prototype that can convert the data from a 3D microwave imaging system used for airport security to biometrics such as body mass and gait for early health diagnoses," said Cai.

Sponsored by the Army Research Office and the National Science Foundation, the dual-use security tools are designed to help cut health care costs and provide important data for health issues ranging from obesity to arthritis.

Cai and research assistants Ye Li, Stefan Kremser, Li Wan and Ping Ni use a 3D anthropology database of more than 100 men and women to cull information for correlations between volume, weight, height and girth of adults. The team aims to develop an affordable tool that consumers can use to monitor excess weight and other health issues involving everything from arthritic wrists and hands to a sore foot.

Reported by 8 1/2 x 11 Newsletter, December 18, 2008, Vol. 19, No. 23

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