BT smart tech supports independent living in care homes

BT and Home Group have launched a pilot scheme to fit care homes with a range of smart sensors to provide data on activities in order to support independent living and safety support.

The pilot has taken place at Webb Ellis Court in Scarborough, with residents volunteering to take part in the trial by allowing specialists to fit sensors in their homes. The sensors use smart plugs to link to electrical appliances such as televisions, kettles and fridges, along with key access points throughout the homes. The system then links to a specialised app to display data directly to authorised carers.

The technology logs each time the appliances are used or when parts of the home are accessed, supporting residents’ safety by mapping normal routines and allowing unusual patterns in behaviour to be noticed by on-site staff in real time. Carers can therefore make early interventions when changes are noticed that could indicate illness or injury.

The trial is set to last six months and aims to identify how proactive interventions can cut risk for people living in supported accommodation, along with improving their safety and comfort. It is part of BT’s development of Connected Health solutions, a key commitment outlined in the organisation’s charter for customers.

It is also hoped that these developments could ease pressure on key NHS services by supporting residents to live independently for longer, reducing hospital admissions by providing support before health issues escalate.

“Technology has the power to make independent living easier for people, whilst also allowing loved ones to know their nearest and dearest are safe,” said Professor Sultan Mahmud, Healthcare Director for BT’s Enterprise unit. “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.

“Technology has already transformed the way we live our lives and the deployment of new technology like this can help take how we care for people to the next level.”