Quarkside

19/10/2015

IoT poses ethical dilemma for carers of vulnerable people

Filed under: Health,Innovation,Wellbeing — lenand @ 3:16 pm
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Newcastle University, Institute for Ageing, have questioned the ethics of monitoring older people living alone with mundane household appliances, such as kettles. The Internet of Things (IoT) now has the capacity to place sensors unobtrusively and collect data continuously, generating concerns about “informed consent”. Four were identified:

  • Smartphones passively monitor activities and send alert to families or carers in public spaces outside the control of the observed person;
  • Potential stigmatisation of the observed person;
  • Greater liability to the carer who has constant availability of data;
  • Reduced face-to-face or telephone communication.

However, they urge caution to avoid over-emphasising potential harms compared to the likelihood of improved outcomes.

Innovate UK funded the study, which also included a focus group report of the Kemuri® Wellbeing Monitor. This is an IoT smart power socket that senses temperature, motion, and power used by kettles and microwaves in kitchens. Web software learns patterns of behaviour and checks for changes from normal behaviour every hour. The objective is to reduce NHS and Social Care costs by families identifying the risk of hypothermia, dehydration, malnutrition and unattended falls.

The focus group from VOICENorth were all carers of older people who had symptoms of dementia. The findings included:

  • “… an overwhelmingly positive response that the three types of information was the most appropriate to support carers to provide reassurance that all was well”;
  • “Most felt the kitchen was a place where ordinary day-to-day activities happen”;
  • “… there was unanimity that the device was user-friendly in terms of the user interface (screen, readability, and instructions)”.

The full report, “Ethics of passive wellbeing monitoring and focus group report“, is available to download.

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05/04/2015

Wellbeing Indicators for Later Life

Filed under: Innovation,Social Care,Wellbeing — lenand @ 9:11 am
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The first indicator of declining wellbeing is the ability to cut your own toenails. That’s a conclusion of ongoing research in the Newcastle University Institute of Ageing. They identified fifteen key indicators as people’s capability reduces in the last ten years of independent living. Two scenarios are shown on the chart below.

Kemuri Zone: between curves of reducing capability

Kemuri Zone

The left hand side is a typical steady decline over seven years. The right hand side is an optimally managed reduction of activities of daily living. Perceived wellbeing is higher for six years before an inevitable decline and the need for professional domiciliary or residential care services.

Quarkside was surprised that maintaining the ability to walk 400 yards for six years could increase independence by almost three years. Furthermore, the period of reduced capability is shorted, resulting in lower costs for end-of-life care.

This research is being embedded into the Kemuri Wellbeing Monitor software. People should consider installing a KemuriSense Smart Power Socket into the kitchens of people living alone when they cannot walk 400 yards and having difficulty with heavy housework and washing clothes. Families can expect to gain peace of mind for three to five years using the Kemuri service – when they are in the Kemuri Zone between the curves of reducing capability.

27/12/2014

Digital Catapult Showcases Kemuri

Filed under: Innovation,Social Care,Technology — lenand @ 9:14 am
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The KemuriSense smart power socket was invented because it did not exist.  Older people living alone are not all the same, you would not expect this with 2.5 million over the the age of 75.  Some will refuse to wear telecare devices and most will not accept continuous video surveillance.

One is now on show in the Digital Catapult in 101 Euston Road. It has been honoured by the presence of at least three Government Ministers: Francis Maude, Vince Cable and Ed Vaizey.  Look at the Digital Catapult Showcase presentation.  It gives the rationale for passive predictive monitoring for reducing the risk of hypothermia, dehydration and immobility.  And it has a ten year vision for ubiquitous networked power sockets for offices, industry and smart homes.

KemuriSense Smart Power Socket

KemuriSense Smart Power Socket

01/07/2014

Value of Predictive Analytics: Kemuri

Filed under: Health,Innovation,Social Care,Technology,Wellbeing — lenand @ 7:05 am
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A report “Challenging Innovators: Matching offerings to the needs of older adults” has a diagram to locate Kemuri in a quadrant:

Value of Predictive Analytics

Value of Predictive Analytics

Kemuri is high value and high function with predictive analysis, pattern detection and motion.  Fall detection is indirect, but better than nothing.

There’s lots more to digest in the publication by Laurie M. Orlov, Boomer Health Tech Watch

 

31/05/2014

Kemuri: Cisco Grand Challenge Entry

Filed under: Innovation,People,Social Care — lenand @ 8:34 am
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Kemuri wants more people to share this vision:

People living longer, happier and healthier

in their own homes

with non-intrusive social support

from family, friends and carers

Kemuri products and services will help towards achieving it for more families of vulnerable people living alone.  Kemuri has entered a competition, “Cisco Internet of Things Innovation Grand Challenge”. The winner will receive a prize worth US$200,000. Winning would boost the ability to scale quickly to a service for thousands of families with older people living alone. A place in the semi-finals is guaranteed if the entry “Social care costs reduced with IoT sensors and predictive monitoring” is “liked” by the most number of people. To make sure that people are genuinely interested, Cisco require people to register on the Innovation web site.

The publicity for being top of the poll would be useful, even if it does not lead to winning the top prize.  Spreading the link would help to gather a few more votes for a worthwhile social enterprise that could have an impact on every family that is concerned about the wellbeing of vulnerable people living alone.

23/05/2014

Downturn in Telecare?

Filed under: Innovation — lenand @ 10:39 am
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Tunstall, is possibly the largest supplier of telecare services to UK Social Services. The newsletter of “Telehealth and Telecare Aware” tells us of rising debt and “an air of turmoil and uncertainty”.  This is not good news at a time when the proportion of older people is rising.  Companies in financial stress often draw in their horns and cease to innovate.  The opportunities of the Internet of Things and predictive monitoring should not be missed.  New technology can save or destroy businesses – just look at Kodak and Nokia.

There is no reduction in demand for Telecare, we may be observing a supertanker unable to change direction quickly.

13/04/2014

Kemuri: The Disaster Movie

Filed under: Innovation,Technology — lenand @ 8:45 am
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Fire, Police, Ambulance, Army and any emergency service can get a real-time movie map of a disaster area.  Remember the floods of 2014.  Who knew what was happening where?  Were local communities upset when the emergency seemed slow to respond?  This isn’t a complaint, it is an offer to help.

After a National infrastructure of Kemuri sensors are installed in the homes of vulnerable people living alone, the data could be used to show a minute by minute map of power outage, humidity, temperature and movement.  It would not need any public or emergency service input.  A moving picture would make good TV, too. We could imagine the speed and spread of a flood as power fails, humidity rises, temperature falls and people are moving around their kitchens at 3am.

As an example of how it might look, here is a video of minute by minute activity in an area the size of the Isle of Wight.  A day’s data in 30 seconds http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CDB5Nt-3h_8.  It is big data in action.  Kemuri plans to use this technology.

The Kemuri infrastructure could provide information to a COBRA committee.  The network, given sufficient resilience, could become part of the Critical National Infrastructure.  The beauty is that the sensors will already deployed for a different function for families and carers; the emergency services may choose to add sensors at key locations and pay £400 per year for the privilege.

All Kemuri needs is some funding to kick-start the development of production quality sensors and shared national infrastructure.

UPDATE: 22/4/14

Kemuri entered a hackathon “to develop prototypes that can support communities to be resilient to and adapt to environmental crises and change.” with £5000 first prize.  The event was cancelled; apparently there weren’t enough competitors.  Are we that short of innovators in the UK?

 

 

10/04/2014

Kemuri: IoTLondon Showcase

Filed under: Innovation,Risk,Social Care,Technology,Wellbeing — lenand @ 3:26 pm
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The buzz at the IoTLondon showcase demonstrated the huge energy of entrepreneurs.  Kemuri was able to demonstrate tangible progress since the original presentation in February.  The strapline was a bit tacky, “Granny Monitor”, but all better suggestions are welcome.

People were interested in poking their fingers into the working demonstrator, thankfully it was in battery powered mode and not connected to the mains.  It contains:

  • Temperature sensor – for hypothermia risk
  • Power sensor – for dehydration or nutritional risk
  • Motion sensor – for immobility or fall risk
  • Controller board – to schedule data transmissions
  • Communications board and aerial
  • Power socket

All fitting into a UK standard double socket enclosure.  Mission accomplished.

We had genuine enquiries about selling to the general public.  The answer has to be “No”.  The equipment must be professionally installed and the first units will go to telecare companies or care agencies.  Furthermore, it was just a demonstrator and it has to go into a prototype, certification and pilot phase before it should be introduced at scale.

As pointed out in the Marketing Flyer, we are “seeking supporters, collaborators and funders” before taking the next steps.  Tell your friends.

06/03/2014

Crowdfunding: Hosted by SOCITM

Filed under: Innovation,Social Care — lenand @ 9:26 am
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Kemuri is a start-up with ambitions to build a social enterprise that is co-designed and co-produced by Councils with Social Services Responsibility (CSSRs). It needs a national infrastructure for safely and securely storing personal data of vulnerable people living alone. The infrastructure would allow families to co-operate with care agencies by checking wellbeing on a daily basis by unobtrusive predictions of hourly activity.

Steve Halliday prompted this posting from his blog.  ” …  how about if each of 500 local organisations contributed £1,000? That would raise enough to recruit some useful people for each of the regions. I was delighted when the organisations I suggested the idea to said “Yes, let’s try that”. The IT and digital leaders society (Socitm) and then the Local Chief Information Officer Council (LCIOC) both gave it their support and many individual organisations have indicated they would contribute. So, we have just launched a local public service Crowdfunding initiative, hosted by Socitm.”

Rather than relying on the goodwill of the private sector suppliers the lowest cost provision for Kemuri would be by using a shared service open to all CSSRs and certified care agencies. Kent Connects has helped already by awarding a prize of £2000 to get a successful demonstrator of a product that predicts the risk of hypothermia, dehydration and immobility of vulnerable people living alone.

If 100 other CSSRs chipped in the same amount, then there would be no difficulty in securing the remaining funding for pilots and national roll-out. The benefits of daily identification of risk could prevent many emergency admissions to A&E, distress related to falls and even deaths of people lying unattended, unable to call for help. Crowdfunding by public sector bodies is ideal for social enterprises whose main purpose is community good, not pursuit of untaxed profits.

19/02/2014

Kemuri: Benefits First

Filed under: Health,Innovation,Social Care — lenand @ 10:53 am
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Kemuri Can Save Lives.  That bold statement was not contradicted by last night’s sell out audience at the IoT Meetup in Shoreditch.  It was the first presentation open to the public. The organiser asked for a non-techie talk, and got one – apart from the fact that everybody there would know that IoT is the “Internet of Things”.

Grannies living alone were the star turn.  As they grow older, the risk of hypothermia, dehydration and immobility increases.  After a fall or a stroke, they can lie on the floor unattended for hours or days.  In the worst cases they are discovered dead.

The first putative customer gave the benefits case.  She was taken into hospital on Sunday night.  ‘If I had installed the Kemuri kit, I would have seen that her heater was broken on the Monday before, had it mended, saved enormous distress and the saved the State the high cost of an emergency’.  He drew the chart in the slide pack.  He can have the first off the production line.

All the techie stuff was missed out, leaving time for plugging Adrian McEwen’s book, simplicity, design and teamwork.

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