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UK: How sensors and AI are monitoring social care patients

Another example on how technology can be in service of health and wellbeing. BBC Technology published an article that explains how in Dorset, more than one hundred people that need social care are monitored by artificial intelligence as part of a three month pilot program.

“Sensors installed in homes will track behaviour and electricity usage which the AI will analyse to spot potential health problems. Lilli, the UK-based firm behind the technology, says it could cut costs and the number of care visits required.But one expert said the scheme might feel invasive to some patients. People discharged from hospital often require care and support during their recovery, particularly those with joint replacements or conditions such as diabetes, dementia, long Covid and chronic fatigue syndrome, also known as ME”.

In the Dorset pilot program, each participant will have at least six to nine sensors installed in their homes.

  • Important facts

The installed devices monitor movement, temperature and the use of specific appliances, but in any case there is use of cameras. The hints that are looked at are: “how often they put the kettle on, how often they open the fridge...etc”. The main idea is to register improvements in ‘personal independence within the home’ or reversely, to actually flag up when there is activity that might show problems.

“Overly frequent bathroom visits during the night, for example, could suggest a urinary tract infection or other concern”.

  • Loneliness risk

Telecare is often cheap to roll out and it permits people to feel more independent from the social health system, but regardless of these advantages it also can raise people’s loneliness feelings. Some health problems can not be easily worked out without visits for example.

“The system was not just about cutting costs or reducing contact with patients but to ensure they were receiving the most appropriate care for their condition. We shouldn't be relying on home care agency staff to provide the social interaction for somebody," affirmed Nick Weston, chief commercial officer at Lilli, the UK-based firm behind the technology.
  • Patient privacy

To apply to the Lillis system and program, it is required written consent from patients or someone authorised to give consent on their behalf. “Data from participants' homes is encrypted both when transmitted and stored, and Lilli has said that only the organisation providing patient care will have access to it”.

MKThink is working with sensors in all of its projects to have good information to drive decision-making regarding health and wellbeing. Learn more by contacting us. Or to read more about today's article, click here:


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