A GPS to locate missing Alzheimer's patients and battered women

April 4, 2011
This is a GPS navigation system in a mobile phone. Credit: Aaron Landry

The Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (Spain) is studying the development of a system based on satellite localization which can be used to find missing Alzheimer's patients and monitor battered women, as well as for inmate management in prisons.

UC3M has signed an agreement for collaboration to develop this system with Localización GPS, an integrated global services geolocation company. "From a technical point of view, we must point to the great importance that including the alert type functionalities, real time monitoring, and the tracking by land, as well as the integration of different systems and hardware platforms, will have," explained the director of this scientific research, development and innovation project at UC3M, the professor Israel González Carrasco, from the research group, SoftLab in the Informatics Department. "All of this," he added, "will allow this technology's capacity to be increased for its application in new areas, offering beneficial aspects for our society."

Until now, geolocation technologies have been used in different areas with enormous success, such as safe and efficient recovery of stolen vehicles, for example. However, there are numerous other areas where they could be used with great efficiency. "Our objective is to increase the capacity of the technologies based on geolocation so that they include other beneficial aspects for society such as helping to protect battered women, monitoring and tracking prison inmates, and rapid and efficient search for missing Alzheimer's patients," this Informatics Engineer professor highlighted.

A prototype in 2011

UC3M, through the group SoftLab, will be in charge of different research, development and innovation activities geared toward obtaining a prototype based on geolocation techniques in these new application spheres. The project ranges from systems and applications research to the development of devices that adapt to defined geolocation criteria, adding at the same time alert type functionalities, real time monitoring, and tracking by land. "We hope to have the devices in a demo phase before the end of 2011, which no doubt will contribute to putting these solutions into action for public purposes within a very short time," asserted Professor Ángel García Crespo, head of the SoftLab group.

The SoftLab group from the UC3M Informatics Department is in constant communication with companies interested in R+D+i projects that allow new synergies to be created, which are of great mutual inters for all parties involved. As for Localización GPS, "it clearly opts for Spanish know-how and research, counting on Universidad Carlos III de Madrid and its renown research group, which provide value and innovation in a highly competitive sector at the international level," according to the company CEO, Pedro María Díez.

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