Improving Aged Care with Smart Home Technology & Telehealth

AUTHOR: Craig Porte, CEO, Carelink/Icon Global & Director, MSIA

Aged Care in the home has largely been reactive. A project to deploy smart home technology has been trialled in Geelong (Victoria) through a collaboration between the City of Greater Geelong, Samsung, Icon Global, Unisono and Deakin University and has shown that  elderly Australians can gain greater autonomy and security in their homes as well as have their health monitored and managed on a proactive and remote basis.

By installing small battery-powered sensors around an aged (or disability) care residence, the Smart Home Project (SofiHub) was able to monitor movements and can alert healthcare service providers when abnormal activity is detected in or around the home. Motion sensors can be placed under the bed to track sleeping patterns, door sensors to monitor activity and in cupboards or fridges, all information which can be streamed to the technology hub.

By applying artificial intelligence to the streamed sensor coordinates,  SofiHub can make certain predictions about patterns of behaviour.  All sensor data across the home is used to build a baseline profile of normal behaviour, which allows the profile to identify “risk” situations. The system can send alerts to the resident(s), their nominated family members or others in the care cycle.

Integration upstream to healthcare rosters and carer will provide for significant improvements in workforce management for Service Providers.  Coupled with smartphone enabled location tracking and messaging, field-based care workers will be better able to respond to in-home alerts.

“It reduces travel for the care worker so that more time is focused on the client’s needs. The digital health ecosystem will achieve the true objectives of telehealth.” Icon Global managing director Craig Porte said.

Extending the Smart Home Project is a consortium that aims to offer a home-assisted living package for the aged and vulnerable with a national base in Geelong.  Digital health company AiQor is teaming with Unisono and Icon Global to provide the remote monitoring of health condition. The trio are developing their system to enable people such as the aged, those with disabilities or post-surgical care needs, to live at home independently for longer.  It provides real-time proactive healthcare with the integrated product allowing the loop of information on a person’s current health status to be closed and rapid response services to be provided.

AiQor’s, Artificial Intelligence coupled with Machine Learning in a Deep Neural Network platform will be combined with Sofihub and Carelink to help create an ecosystem dedicated to the health, wellbeing and independence of an individual.  The ecosystem gives Service Providers of home care flexible and remote capabilities:

  • Integrating with third party participants and information
  • Connecting measuring devices through multiple interfaces known as the Internet of Things (IOT)
  • Providing information visually through multi formats e.g. Tablet, PC, TV and voice interaction
  • Assist in managing chronic diseases, identifying trends and advising medical professionals of concerns
  • Identifying exceptions in motion patterns in the home
  • Integration with client management systems to trigger appropriate responses and assignment of resources

Operating within this ecosystem is an Artificial Intelligent Medical Concierge that works to manage all the interfaces, functions and transfer of information.

The ecosystem begins with the individual and extends to the connections with Service Providers, Allied Health Professionals, GPs or Pharmacists to name a few.   The two most prominent interfaces are;

  • Point of Care (POC) whereby care workers visit a person in the home or alternative setting to consult and undertake to measure information in line with their Care Plan.
  • Permanent in-home systems that assist the individual to manage their health and wellbeing providing ongoing monitoring of activity, personal health measurement, for example weight and glucose levels. The information managed and stored by the AiQor is tied into an eHealth record and available to others in the care cycle based on permission.

The Point of Care system allows a carer to visit the individual, provide a consult through a tablet or smart phone.  A Care Map that is created for the individual guides the process of collecting personal information through Bluetooth enabled devices measuring many parameters including weight or blood pressure or blood coagulant levels.  The information is then transmitted to a cloud-based server that provides the information to Service Providers and others in the care cycle.  Other services include appointment management and video consults with other care providers.

Joining of three complimentary medical technologies provides a highly flexible offering.  Based in Geelong puts the technology in the hotspot of the National Disability Insurance Agency, WorkSafe and the Transport Accident Commission all located in the city.

Leave a Comment