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How to Save a Life: Could Real-Time Sensor Data Have Saved Mrs Elle?

YOW! Data 2018

This is the story of Mrs Elle*, a participant in a smart home pilot study. The pilot study was aimed to test the efficacy of sensors to capture in-home activity data including meal preparation, attention to hygiene and movement around the house. The in-home monitoring and response service associated with the sensors had not been implemented, and as such, data was not analyzed in real time. Sadly, Mrs Elle suffered a massive stroke one night, and was found some time after. She later died in hospital without regaining consciousness. This paper looks at the data leading up to Mrs Elle’s stroke, to see if there were any clues that a neurological insult was imminent. We were most interested to know, had we been monitoring in real time, could the sensors have told us how to save a life?


Dana Bradford

Sr. Research Scientist



Dr Dana Bradford is a research scientist in the CSIRO’s Australian eHealth Research Centre.  Her project work predominantly centres on digital services for equitable healthcare. She is involved in the development of phone based programs to manage chronic illness, and tablet based apps to translate key assessment questions for non-English speaking hospital patients. She was involved in the first Australian pilot of the Smarter Safer Homes platform – a sensor based monitoring system designed to allow the elderly to live independently for longer. Dr Bradford has a BSc majoring in neuroscience and psychology with Honours in neuroscience from the University of Queensland and a PhD in neuroscience awarded by the Queensland Brain Institute.