Life Lab

The ORCATECH Life Laboratory is a resource used to explore technologies to support independent living, to assess new behavioral markers, and to evaluate approaches for assessing neurological and other relevant health changes, all in the participant’s home. The Life Lab consists of a population of community-dwelling individuals who have agreed to participate on an ongoing basis in research on technology-based health monitoring, intervention, and support of independent aging. Members of the Life Lab have the ORCATECH platform installed in their home and participate in studies ranging from new technology testing to longitudinal behavioral research.

The spiral plot below is an example of the type of data that can be derived from a home in the Life Lab. In this plot, the dots within each green ring represent the sensors triggered in one participant's home for a 2-week period of time. The plot begins in the middle and spirals outward, day by day, as an individual moves through his or her house and the motion sensors trigger.

Data from the Life Lab

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The "pattern" you can see on this plot shows an individual who had a fairly routine wake-up time and bed-time for the initial part of the plot, but as time went on, the routine seems to deteriorate a little, with both wake-up and bedtimes becoming earlier and less consistent. It also seems like the amount of movement, especially in the early morning, increases over time, showing heightened restlessness during what had previously been sleep time. This type of plot can be used to eyeball changes in routine that might be triggered by something as simple as a new schedule or as extreme as the onset of disease.

Satellite Life Labs

Because the ORCATECH Life Lab is such a valuable resource, some investigators and companies may wish to set up a similar facility in their own city or area. ORCATECH faculty and staff can assist with this in a variety of ways, ranging from advising on how to proceed to provision of equipment specifications and software to manage deployments, to actual deployment (subject recruitment, equipment purchase, and installation). Interested partners can inquire about collaboration by submitting a completed online Application for ORCATECH Resource Use.