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New sensor sends real-time data to healthcare providers

Elderly female washing the dishes

By Aline Rodrigues

Elderly Australians living independently at home will be able to send real-time data to their healthcare providers through a secure and transparent new health monitoring platform.

Developed by CSIRO, the national science agency, the device “Smarter Safer Homes” has clinical and health service benefits.

Australian ageing population is predicted to rise to 22% by 2056, exposing the increasing pressure to be faced by aged care facilities and the broader healthcare system.

In addition to this figure, more than 80% of the elderly over 60 choose to live at home.

Ensuring a strong focus on consumer-directed care while addressing aged care quality standards such as access to personal and clinical care, and access to daily living support services becomes critical.

CSIRO Health Services Group leader, Dr Mohan Karunanithi, believes the technology can support more significant quality and provide more informed continuity of care for citizens who choose to live independently.

Their families will be updated remotely while also providing 24/7 healthcare information to medical care teams and clinicians.

“Australians are choosing to live longer in their own homes. However, as we age, or as a result of a chronic condition, daily tasks can become increasingly difficult, putting our health and safety at risk. Numerous trials have shown technology-enabled systems and smart sensors can deliver a high quality, in-home care model suitable for independent living and reducing these risks”, Dr Karunanithi said.

The CSIRO Smarter Safer Homes Objective Activities of Daily Living algorithm will be one of the foundational technologies of the HSC TALIUS platform. It will turn collated sensor data into measures of an individual’s daily life activities such as meal preparation, mobility, hygiene and grooming.

This information in the HSC platform will offer users a secure way to self-manage at home, while simultaneously sharing medical information with healthcare providers and family members via a smartphone app and web portal.

Meanwhile, healthcare providers will be able to use the data to detect and assess changes to treatments or care support, intervene early if an emergency is predicted, and create accurate reports for transparency and accountability.

Interest in smart monitoring technology has risen in recent months due to COVID-19. With over 850 coronavirus-related deaths reported in elderly Australians over 60 years to date, demand for contact-free assistance and care has increased to help limit the spread of infection and disease.

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