Finalist category: BT Connected Society Award
Connected Society Award, Finalist, 2018
A safe ‘Internet of Things’ for older and disabled adults
Founded in 2014, Alcove helps older and disabled adults remain safe using an IoT Assistive Technology Ecosystem.
Aiming to replace the fixed line telecare system, their tailored tech packages offer a real-time, data-driven alternative to help move from a reactive towards a preventative model. The smart tech giving peace of mind to family members and cost-effectiveness for government partners. Alcove believes that, although the concept of ‘Telecare’ was radically innovative 20 years ago, it now needs to sit alongside a digital offer. The existing market is dominated by hardwired solutions that lack interoperability and provide little, if any, data – poorly serving the increasing elderly population who want to remain living independently in their own homes.
Their solution embraces the world of connected, widely available smart technologies, offering a range of features such as:
- Activity monitoring
- Emergency response
- Video communication aid
- Alexa carer check-in skill
- Video doorbell
These combine to provide greater choice and focus on aspirations as well as needs, offering technology that people want to buy, instead of have to.
Benefits include economic savings, as employees can be deployed more efficiently. Supported living schemes have been able to move from waking night to sleepover care – reducing staff costs considerably. Feedback shows improvement in the quality of life of users as they are better connected and less socially isolated. Environmentally, by measuring temperature, light and movement, data collected can be used to detect energy wastage and encourage the user to change behaviour to improve health and / or reduce energy bills.
Within three months of launching, the Alcove system saved the life of a customer. Three years later, they have saved many more, deploying just short of 5,000 connected devices and providing cost savings to care providers. Over the next 12 months, they aim to continue to build sales capacity, maintain high levels of momentum, fine tune their insurtech proposition, and deepen and widen all of their markets.
Their ultimate ambition is to apply data analytics, artificial intelligence and machine learning principals to already collected citizen-centric data. In combining it with other sources of open and personal data, they can create a personalised and dynamic care plan – one which reflects the frequently changing needs and aspirations of the elderly population.