There’s a vis­ceral reac­tion many people have to being mon­i­tored,” says Stephen Intille, asso­ciate pro­fessor at North­eastern University’s Col­lege of Com­puter and Infor­ma­tion Sci­ences and a leading researcher in the field of per­sonal health infor­matics. “We need to stay away from stig­ma­tizing these inno­va­tions. The better way to think of them is like advanced answering machines that go in the homes of the seniors and their fam­i­lies as well. They should be seen as devices that link people together.”

But seam­less­ness is the key, Intille says, citing an exper­i­ment he oversaw in which a sub­ject was placed in a monitored-​​home but wound up trying to “game the system” out of defi­ance. Unob­tru­sive sen­sors “have a lot of poten­tial, because Boomers espe­cially will want to stay at home as they grow old,” he says. “That’s worth money, and that’s where the market comes from.”

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