GPS technology paves the way toward more knowledge of severe mental illnesses, such as depression and schizophrenia.
For years, researchers and scientists have tried to discover more about mental illnesses, particularly severe mental illness. Now, with the help of GPS tracking and a new study, they are able to do so.
Researchers at Temple University are utilizing GPS technology to enlighten them with information they have never had before about people with disorders like schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and severe depression. They are tracking the individual’s community participation, which so far has left a big gap in research about these types of illnesses.
“For the most part, research focuses on their deficits, or on their illnesses. I also think there’s somewhat of a bias. I suspect we don’t think people have lives outside of the mental health system,” said Mark Salzer, who works for the Rehabilitation Sciences at Temple University’s College of Public Health:
Salzer also adds that there isn’t much information about community participation, socialization, and mobility of people who are struggling with severe mental illness.
In the past, the only real data they had to go on about community participation were surveys. They could ask the individual if they went to school, church, or work, but that was the extent of it. This was also subjective, since the individual would have needed to remember everything they did and report it back for the survey.
Now, the study is using advanced technology. Each of the people participating in the study is given a smartphone for two weeks. The phone includes a GPS tracking device inside that monitors all of the individual’s movements. They are asked to keep the phone on their person everywhere they go in order to obtain the most accurate results. Individuals participating also need to log their activities, so that researchers can fill in any blanks and get more comprehensive results.
This research project will last a total of three years and is possible thanks to a $600,000 grant provided by the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research.
There are three main areas that Salzer and the rest of the research team want to get during the study. The first is learning basic information about what people do and where they go on an average day when they have a serious mental illness. The team can follow them around with the GPS smartphone and find out what they are doing.
The next thing they want to learn the actual methodology of community interaction with people who have mental illnesses. This can be used to judge how well certain treatments are working for mental illness, by looking at it from another perspective.
Lastly, they hope to look at what the environment around them has to do with their choice in activities throughout the day.
One of the most effective uses of GPS fleet tracking software is to avoid traffic jams. Using it saves drivers time and saves the company money.
Traffic jams happen for a variety of reasons: construction, accidents, and commuting. They wreak havoc with schedules and slow down deliveries. When you can regularly avoid them, drivers, customers — and your bottom line — will benefit.
Benefits of Avoiding Congestion
There are five major benefits to your and your drivers when you efficiently use your GPS tracking to avoid construction and commuter traffic.
- Better worker productivity: Instead of sitting in long lines of traffic, your drivers move around it, getting pickups and deliveries done on time
- Truck engines don’t have to work as hard: Idling the engine for long periods is a fact if a truck is stuck in traffic. This decreases engine life and increases maintenance and repair costs.
- Better mileage: While sitting in traffic, your trucks are still using fuel. Keeping them moving to their destination means trucks are not wasting this expensive resource.
- Happier customers: A driver not stuck in traffic is able to make pickups and deliveries on time. That’s what retains customers and gets positive word of mouth.
- More efficient use of driver time: When your drivers are waiting in long lines of traffic, they aren’t contributing much to the bottom line. When they can avoid jams, they are working productively.
GPS Fleet Tracking to the Rescue
Route planning GPS devices provide data in real time about traffic flow and weather, as well as providing suggestions for the least congested path to take. With this information, drivers can make informed decisions about the best road to choose.
This technology is now commonplace in a variety of cities in North America and Europe. Powered by Google Maps or another similar service and using an FM signal and cell towers or satellites, the signals are sent to GPS tracking devices in the truck and at the dispatcher’s terminal.
The display interprets the data and converts it to a visual that is easy to read. For example, slow traffic might be shown in red or yellow, so the information is simple to grasp at a glance.
At the same time, the device suggests routes to avoid the slowdown. The driver makes his choice based on the data and on his own experience.
When drivers have a choice, they are less stressed, more productive and tend to drive more safely. This also lessens the amount of traffic in the backup, which is good for all drivers in the area.
Make the most of new technology. Investing in GPS fleet tracking with route planning can bring major savings to your company. Call LiveView GPS today to learn more about how GPS fleet tracking can help your business. 1.888.502.3636
Vessels and ferries off the New York Harbor go digital with real-time GPS tracking data, provided by city officials.
Just off Staten Island, New Yorkers wait for their ferry boats, but really have no idea when exactly they will dock. However, that is all about to change as the city has approved GPS tracking of the ferries.
Passengers will be able to see where the ferries are at the harbor and when they are waiting at the terminals. The system is being called the Automatic Identification System (AIS), which is also used inside the ferryboats managed by the Department of Transportation (DOT).
“DOT decided to install the AIS to allow passengers to see where the ferries were in the harbor while waiting for them at the terminals,” a spokesman for DOT said,
The tracking units on the ferries and other vessels will show the movement of the boats about every five minutes. The GPS vessel tracking website will house a map that is refreshed every 60 seconds to show any change that might have taken place in their location.
AIS was originally developed in the 1990s, when it was added to the previously-used marine radar systems. It was meant to avoid collisions with other vessels by showing the position, name and course of other vessels near the harbor. The vessels are shown as arrows, with the colors of these triangles reflecting the approximate speed of them. A 6-sided polygon (hexagon) depicts vessels stopped.There will be another screen installed at the Whitehall Ferry Terminal in Manhattan in the near future.
The ferries are not the only vessels being tracked with GPS; the same GPS tracking system is also being used for construction vessels at the New York Bridge. Governor Andrew M. Cuomo made the announcement recently that they are starting a GPS system to track the construction vessels around the NY Bridge and harbor. Like the ferries, there will be an interactive map that shows their locations and approximate arrival time at the Hudson River. This lets boaters stay away from an active and potentially dangerous construction one.
Their vision for the construction vessels being tracked is to provide a safer experience for personal and commercial boaters while the crews are working on the new bridge in New York. Cuomo said during his announcement,
“Every precaution we take on this active work one will not only help keep people safe, but will also keep the project on-schedule and ultimately provide drivers with a less-congested commute and a safer bridge to get where they need to go,” commented Cuomo commented.
There are also other safety enhancement being introduced, including GPS tracking of their barges, a training program for deckhands, safety zone around mooring locations provided by the U.S. Coast Guard, and better marine law enforcement patrols.