New dementia home-tech gets first trial

A new home technology system designed to help carers by monitoring people living with dementia is getting its first home trial in Surrey.

A couple in Outwood has had the system fitted in their home which includes monitoring gadgets. Hundreds more people are now signed up to the clinical trial in Surrey which will cost around £5m.

The system is funded by the Department of Health and has been designed at the University of Surrey. It uses a tablet, a phone, a wearable GPS tracker, motion sensors and various other sensors to record medical readings and behavioural patterns.

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A modified Samsung tablet records blood pressure, hydration level and weight once a day while motion sensors continually monitor movements around the home in case the user falls or faints.

The system is able to send an alert to a clinic if something is wrong and clinicians are then able to follow it up.

“The key difference with this system is that everything is connected with all the devices working together,” Amanda Morgan, communications officer at the Surrey and Borders Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, told the Surrey Mirror.

“It takes around two weeks for the system to learn what is normal for each individual patients and then, if any of the devices notice something out of the ordinary for that person, they send an instant alert and determine what action needs to be taken next. This helps us detect issues such as infections early on so patients can avoid the stress of having to go to hospital, while carers always know where their loved one is and how they are doing.”

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