New technology integrating AI and Internet of Things will enable people with dementia to receive round the clock observation and live independently in their own homes, finds study published in the Journal PLOS ONE.
The study known as Technology Integrated Health Management (TIHM) for dementia, uses the 'Internet of Things,' a network of internet enabled devices (sensors, monitors and trackers) installed in homes, which can detect an immediate crisis as well as changes in people's health and daily routines, said researchers from the University of Surrey in partnership with Surrey and Borders Partnership NHS Foundation Trust. Any change could indicate a potential health issue and if identified early could prevent a person from becoming seriously unwell and requiring emergency hospital admission.
The well-being of people with dementia can also be monitored using this innovative technology which can detect agitation and irritability. Dr Payam Barnaghi, Reader in Machine Intelligence at the University of Surrey, said:
"Technology plays a growing role in our healthcare system and it is crucial we capitalise on this to improve the care people receive." Dr Helen Rostill, Director of Innovation and Development at Surrey and Borders Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, said: "We are delighted to be working with the University of Surrey on this ground-breaking study which we believe has the potential to not only transform support for people with dementia and their carers but also people with other long term and complex health conditions."
Figures from the Alzheimer's Society indicate that there are 930,000-people with dementia in the UK, with numbers set to rise to over 1 million by 2025. Currently there is no cure for this very challenging illness, placing financial strain on the NHS as the cost of care continues to soar. Innovative technology like this will help slow the decline and maintain independent living for people with dementia.