Finalist category: Ageing Society Award
Ageing Society Award, Finalist, 2023
Backed by Alzheimer’s Society and the UK Dementia Research Institute, Milbotix, are developing SmartSocks – an innovative line of wearables designed for people with dementia and other conditions which affect communication.
“Socks are familiar and unobtrusive, and are therefore less likely to be removed than wristbands.
SmartSocks incorporate sensors and patent-pending artificial intelligence to alert carers and healthcare professionals to rising distress. They are machine washable and communicate over Wi-Fi. The wearer’s ‘level of need’ is displayed on the Milbotix app, alongside a digital diary that tracks individual distress triggers, support provided and whether that support was effective.
The UK’s social care sector is under tremendous pressure. Staff turnover is twice the national average, the vacancy rate is three times the national average, and productivity is declining. Yet the number of people living with dementia in the UK will grow by 15% in the next seven years, and by 70% in next 25. Innovations like SmartSocks are desperately needed to help place social care on a more sustainable footing”