The challenge of the increasing ageing population is helping people to live independently for longer. Frail and elderly people are at risk of falls, dehydration, malnutrition, hypothermia and multiple morbidities. If they live alone and can’t call for help, then their health outcomes decline with the delay of treatment. If they are able to return to independent living, then the average stay is 12.3 days. However, if treatment is delayed, then they occupy hospital beds for more days, have poorer health outcomes and may have to be discharged to a care home. In the latter case the average occupancy is 31.7 days. Most people prefer to be discharged to their own homes for better outcomes for both health and wellbeing.
Occupational Therapists (OTs) assess people for safe discharge, based on many factors. Excess bed days are costed at £235 per day. The value to the NHS is release of bed for medical purposes, notionally worth up to £5000 per patient.
Percentage of correct use of pendants, DistanceLab study
Another potential cost reduction is for the 500,000 people issued with pendant alarms who do not wear them. The UK provides 1.6 million of these devices. Research shows that 32% are never even worn, wasting £80m per year.
Technology Enabled Care Services are part of the solution. Kemuri K-Sockets are designed for the kitchens of people who reject wearables, don't accept changes to their established routines and are beginning to decline in their activities of daily living. Machine learning automatically recognises patterns of movement, eating and drinking before checking every hour for significant changes. After detecting many changes, Kemuri sends alerts to 24/7 alarm response centres, family members or carers. They then take action, depending on the underlying reason for the alert.
A dashboard shows an hourly update of all the service users under the care of one person, such as an OT or a care manager. They can see at a glance if anybody may need immediate attention and set priorities for scheduling care visits.
Kemuri will only process data if the service user, an attorney or qualified person has given consent for data sharing to authorised viewers under the General Data Protection Regulations.
Activities of Daily Living are well researched. Encouraging service users to prepare their own hot meals and to keep active all help to delay rapid decline. Most older people prefer to be supported their own homes. Involving families in wellbeing monitoring reduces the overall cost of health and social care of the ageing population.
People move around the kitchen, using their kettles and microwaves as normal. Kemuri® K-Sockets measure activity continuously and send data to the Internet without using broadband and even during power cuts. Machine learning alerts the risks of unattended falls, dehydration, malnutrition and hypothermia for carers to take action.
K-Sockets are power sockets with integrated IoT sensors for movement, power usage, temperature, humidity, power supply, battery voltage and signal strength. There are two models; a portable Reablement Monitor and a fixed Wellbeing Monitor.
OTs can monitor service user activity after discharge from hospital using portable Reablement Monitors. They simply plug into any power socket, usually in kitchens, and immediately start learning patterns of motion and power used for kettles and microwave cookers. They are ideal for monitoring people during reablement if they do not have daily contact with carers. Units can be secured from disconnection by “Socket-Safe” plug protectors.
OTs or other care agencies have access to the dashboard that show the daily wellbeing of all their service users.
After completion of reablement, service users can be assessed for needing fixed Wellbeing Monitors.
Wellbeing Monitors are the wall-mounted K-Sockets. They are permanently connected to the mains power supply by suitably qualified installers. With consent, the dashboard app can be viewed by family members, carers or alarm response centres.
People with cognitive impairment can continue living normally with nothing extra to remember. Wellbeing Monitors are non-intrusive for alerting families and carers. They receive emails or SMS text messages that could indicate unattended falls or medical problems that need emergency care. Kemuri is also certified for sending alerts to Verklizan UMO, which is being deployed by many alarm response centres.
Nothing could be simpler
Kemuri technology is installed in the homes of vulnerable people who have been assessed to need increasing level of care. It passively monitors multiple sensors and learns daily patterns of activity for predicting what is likely to happen in the next hour. When routines aren't kept, or unusual activity happens at unexpected times, alerts can be set to families, carers or 24/7 response centres.
Newcastle University, Institute for Ageing, reviewed the Ethics of Passive Wellbeing Monitoring and concluded that any concerns should be balanced against the likelihood of improved outcomes. A focus group of carers of dementia sufferers, confirmed that “ethical concerns were minimal in comparison to the practical pressure, risks and anxieties involved in remote caring.”