IoTUK improving health and care

IoTUK improving health and care

In honour of national carers week, Idris Jahn, Principal Consultant, blogs for IoTUK about we will be addressing challenges faced by care homes and home carers at an upcoming clinic on 15 July. 

This week is national carers week, an annual campaign to raise awareness of caring, highlighting the challenges carers face and recognising the contribution they make to families and communities throughout the UK.

So why is this relevant to IoTUK?

Well, IoTUK is playing a co-ordinating role across four large-scale Internet of Things (IoT) demonstrators, including an NHS test bed in Surrey, which was launched in May 2016 and will run for two years. The test bed works in collaboration with both public and private sector organistions; exploring how IoT can help improve the quality of life for people with dementia and their carers.

Taking carers into consideration is vital for multiple reasons. In a recent IoTUK blog with Helen Rostill, Head of the Internet of Things (IoT) innovation test bed in Surrey, she explained why carer burnout is a key cause for people with dementia being admitted into hospital or a nursing home. It is also important to include carers into the study, as people with dementia may not be able to interact with monitoring devices or may feel threatened by them.

IoTUK has run a number of activities over the past year to accelerate and raise awareness of IoT projects, products and services. During this period we have come across a large number of companies that are using IoT for health and social care, both for domestic and care home settings. We have seen solutions that connect all members of the care circle in real time with the relevant information. We’ve also seen smart devices that monitor everything from blood oxygen levels for COPD (Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) sufferers to motion for bedridden patients.

Care Homes and Home Carers Clinic

As part of our continued efforts to help our community of IoT SMEs move their businesses forward, IoTUK has organised a one-day clinic on 15 July around the theme of ‘carers’. We are inviting applications with an IoT care-related product or service to attend – further details can be found here.

This clinic gives SMEs the opportunity to hear directly from care home owners, managers and carers about the opportunities and challenges they face. This is also a chance for home carers to share their unique needs too. Throughout the day workshops will explore how IoT can address the needs of both care homes and domiciliary care. We will also have a number of established technology providers and carer associations sharing their insights about health and care.

So if you’re a healthcare company with an IoT product or you would like the opportunity to develop an IoT idea around health and care, sign up today as places are limited.

You can follow Idris Jahn on Twitter @idrisjahn and don’t forget to follow IoTUK too @IoTUKNews.

Idris Jahn
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