BT smart technology scheme supports care home independence

A new scheme will enable care home residents to live independently for longer by monitoring their activity through interaction with household devices. 

As part of the six-month trial, launched by BT and Home Group, the homes of 12 residents at a Scarborough care home will be fitted with smart plugs linked to sensors that monitor the activity of electrical appliances. These include TVs, fridges and kettles , alongside additional sensors around ‘key access points’ like doors.  

The Healthcare Director for BT’s Enterprise unit, Professor Sultan Mahmud, said: ‘This trial allows us to demonstrate just how much impact some small interventions can make on the lives of those living in supported accommodation, and the potential reductions in the costs of care and the pressure on the NHS.’ 

The technology will log use of the connected devices and record when different parts of the home have been accessed. This data can then be used to map the routines of the residents and automatically alert carers of any changes that could indicate an issue, allowing them to take early intervention actions without the need to constantly check on the resident in person. 

The trial is being undertaken at the Web Ellis Court care home and community wellbeing scheme for over 55s. One customer, Joe Bracchi, said: ‘It’s strange that I won’t see it working as it’s not something you can watch, but I know it is there working for me. 

‘It will be reassuring that it can monitor my activity, or lack of it, and offer support if I need it. I take real comfort knowing that if I strayed from my routine staff on site would know and could support me if needed.’ 

The participating residents consented to having their information, which does not include any audio or visual recordings, collected for the trial. The data can only be accessed by authorised staff on site or approved friends and family of the residents. 

Home Group is a housing association and ‘one of the UK’s largest providers of high quality housing and integrated housing, health and social care.’ It is the developer behind Webb Ellis Court in partnership with North Yorkshire County Council and Scarborough Borough Council. 

BT’s involvement in the scheme is closely linked to its connected health solutions commitment in its charter for customers, designed to develop better outcomes for both patients and staff in the health and social care industry.

Photo provided by BT Group.


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