Sunderland building a test bed for assistive technologies

2019/03/04
assistive technologies

Sunderland City Council has joined forces with the non-profit Digital Catapult, Sunderland Software Centre and the smart city consultancy Urban Foresight to build a test bed for assistive technologies for adults with social care needs. 

The aim of the project is to harness readily accessible mobile smart devices like mobile phones, tablets and home automation products to help people stay independent for as long as possible in their own homes, and to allow family and friends around them to support their independence.

It is well known that this technology can perform tasks like reminding people to take medicines or attend medical appointments, or to monitor the home environment. But DCC Fellow city Sunderland wants to see how it can be adapted to help support residents and their carers to manage their own health and social care conditions.

The project, which was launched in November 2018 and will run to April 2019, involves deploying 120 connected devices across four use-case themes: medication management, mood monitoring, nutrition and hydration, and moving around the home.

A Core monitoring platform will be built to collect and analyse the data from these devises to help care team professionals make better informed decisions regarding future care requirements. 

By combining multiple streams of data, it will be possible to form a more complete data picture of a person’s lifestyle and wellbeing.  Evaluation from the first 120 devices will influence a further rollout phase which seeks to increase deployment to 5,500 homes.

Each home may potentially have up to 10 connected devices, with data coming into the system from the connected devices and information going out via a series of information dashboards. This can be used by care recipients themselves, their families and social care staff to ensure care is provided in the most effective way.