What is dwellSense?

dwellSense is system that captures, analyzes, and reflects back important activities of daily living important for maintaining independence and wellness. dwellSense augments the familiar everyday objects in the home to unobtrusively monitor an individual's routines as they are carried out everyday.

dwellSense recognizes these actions and behaviors and provides both real-time and long-term views of behavior data for individuals, their caregivers, and clinicians for reflection, diagnosing problems, and supporting positive behavior changes such as improved medication adherence.

The story of dwellSense

dwellSense started as a research project at Carnegie Mellon University's Human-Computer Interaction Institute as a doctoral dissertation project of Matthew Lee. Matt had been working on new applications of ubiquitous computing to assist the memory of people with mild Alzheimer's disease. After having some success with working with people with Alzheimer's disease, Matt and his then advisor, Professor Anind Dey, thought about how they could impact not only people who already had Alzheimer's disease but also those who were most at risk for getting it. It was a natural step to apply the sensing techniques developed from initial work to find some of the earliest behavioral indicators for cognitive and functional decline. Support from the Quality of Life Technology Center sparked the early investigations into the hardware and software platforms that make dwellSense possible.

In 2010, dwellSense was selected as one of the funded projects from Round 2 of Project HealthDesign, a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation program to explore unconventional ways of integrating new important data streams from people's lives into clinical decision making. With generous support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and collaborations with the other grantee teams, dwellSense was developed from concept to prototype and tested in the homes of actual older adults, providing valuable data for both case studies and statistical analyses.

dwellSense can...
  • use home sensors to unobtrusively capture how people take their medications, use the phone, and use a coffeemaker.
  • present behavior data in on a tablet application in real-time for in-the-moment task support and reflection.
  • log and present long-term trends using data visualizations.
  • reveal patterns of function and dysfunction not previously known by the individual.
  • be used for tracking the efficacy of treatments in the home.
  • empower older adults, their caregivers, and clinicians with the information they need to make informed decisions about their wellbeing.

Project Lead

Matthew Lee

Matthew Lee

Matt recently completed his Ph.D. in Human-Computer Interaction from Carnegie Mellon University. His research lies at the intersection of human-computer interaction, ubiquitous computing, informatics, and applications in real-world problems of health. His most recent projects focus on developing systems to facilitate patient engagement and self-management of their own health. (link)