Dr Miriam Stoppard: High-tech apps and sensors will help the elderly at home

Dr Miriam Stoppard: High-tech apps and sensors will help the elderly at home

09/02/2019

The many new home apps have come at just the right time as the number of old people living longer increases. ­But as a ­result, diseases of old age, such as ­ dementia , will rise in parallel.

Home medical apps are badly needed. One in four hospital beds are jammed by a patient with dementia often because of preventable causes like falls, dehydration and infection.

Could these dementia patients be looked after at home? Well, if the NHS can roll out a programme to kit their houses out with smart technology it’s definitely on the cards.

Robotic devices can interact with dementia patients to alert them to potential safety risks, such as spills on the floor or a cooker left on.

They may also spot if a patient seems agitated or distressed and then alert family members or carers.

The new technology, including a radar to monitor their movement, robotic devices to remind them if they have left the gas on, and sensors to track their brainwaves and balance, is designed to help people to stay in their own homes as long as possible and to spot problems before they become full-blown crises.

What kind of tech? Sensors, some even using miniature radar ­technology, can be positioned around the house to check whether a person has made their usual morning coffee, how frequently they’re going to the toilet, and if they are moving around less than normal.


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