New devices that collect and process information about people’s activity in real time are being trialled in the UK as a possible solution for increasing independent living.
The devices receive data from sensors placed throughout the home including in power points and lights, and pass the information on to the person’s carers or clinicians.
Possible data sources include smart bottles that dispense the correct dose of medication at specific times, chairs that identify how long someone has been sitting down and digital assistants.
The ability to monitor people’s activity in real time means things like missed appointments, forgotten medication and inactivity can be identified immediately.
Idris Jahn, head of health and data at IoTUK, a national programme designed to accelerate the UK’s digital capability, said the new technology has the potential to change the way care is given.
“It is having that cohesive mechanism to put everyone into the loop, which I think hasn’t existed in the past and it is something that people need,” he told The Guardian.
The devices will be trialled in the homes of six to 10 volunteers over the next month, ahead of a six month randomised control trial involving 700 people with dementia commencing in January 2017.