Finalist category: Digital Health Award


Finalist, 2016

Publicly funded adult social care services are in crisis, with nearly £5bn cuts in the last 5 years, and local authorities across the UK facing a £1.1bn deficit in adult social care funding this year.

Traditional alert systems like pull cords and red pendant alarms are often ineffective, and increase the stigma associated with old age.

Alcove allows people to remain in their own homes, rather than go into institutionalised residential care, giving them the freedom to live independently, adapting their home to meet changing needs and aspirations.

Examples of the technology that Alcove uses

The Alcove system collects real-time data from discreet in-home wireless sensors, customised wearable technology, and other adapted consumer devices. Data is processed to understand each person’s unique routine, and personalised alerts are triggered if their usual routine is disturbed. A profile including individual needs, preferences and lifestyle is used as the basis on which to tailor the alerts, whether that’s the time they normally get out of bed or open the fridge, or how long they normally spend in the bathroom. An alert is sent to a loved one, neighbour or carer to notify them when something hasn’t happened, rather than once something has already happened.

It’s this use of the Internet of Things that differentiates Alcove from previous care technology services, and doesn’t rely on the user alerting a member of their care team or family when an accident has happened, remembering how to alert them, and being physically able to do it. Alcove is harnessing the power of the Internet of Things to move away from the current reactive model to a data-driven, predictive and preventative model.

Elderly couple using the Alcove care service

The system also has behaviour and visitor monitoring capabilities, allowing family to see how often their loved one has been visited, and alerting them when visits don’t happen or are late. It can automatically detect whether they have had a fall, and lets people voice or video call by simply pressing a well known face to better connect people to friends, family, health or care workers. It can also send medication alerts, reminders to stay hydrated, and can even be used to turn lights on automatically at night when people get out of bed, reducing the likelihood of falls.

Finalists for the Digital Health Award, Alcove are giving older and disabled people their independence back, in their own home for as long as possible. Visit the Alcove website for more information. To find out who won the Digital Health Award, visit the Winners 2016 page.

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