Sensative’s Leo De Meere has been involved in IoT projects in elderly care for a long time and has had the opportunity to learn much about these implementations, opportunities, and challenges. In this article, we will explore the extensive and awarded PoC project “Digitala Hem” (“Digital Homes”) with Swedish real estate company HFAB.
Below you find a summary of the customer use case, click here to skip it and go directly to the video.
IoT in elderly care
Philosophically, for many pioneers, IoT is about using technology to better people’s lives, directly or indirectly. There are plenty of evident and promising applications within caretaking, nursing, and other areas of human nurturing. While IoT is growing steadily and slowly finding its way into hospital care, elderly care is a promising area where IoT implementations are more rapidly explored. In elderly care, there are many ideas to be realized and plenty of room to realize them.
Technology aiding weakening senses
As we grow old, we eventually and inevitably become less self-sustainable. We might lose track of time, more easily hurt ourselves, forget things, and more. Such weakening of our senses often leads to lives in care homes, forcing us to leave our homes where we feel the most comfortable and free.
This project aims to build homes that help older people take care of themselves for as long as possible, bringing a happier life and less pressure on the government and its resources. IoT technology can help with security and safety concerns, memory issues, human contact, and more. Not only does it help the elderly live a fuller life. It also aids caretakers (family or staff) in understanding how a person is doing without unnecessarily disturbing through visits or similar.
Sensative and elderly care
IoT in real estate is one of Sensative’s strongholds as our products fit perfectly into that context. Our experience with elderly care is also growing, and we are passionately invested in improving it with IoT technology. As Leo De Meere shares, “there are a lot of low hanging fruits within elderly care for implementations that would help both the elderly and caretakers in their daily lives”.
Sensative’s part in the HFAB project
In this project, Sensative primarily contributed with our IoT platform Yggio. Being a horizontal middleware platform, Yggio allowed HFAB to freely choose any devices not locked into any vertical solutions. Among the many technological implementations in these apartments, Sensative also made water leak detection and window monitoring possible.
Full data protection
Sensative’s Yggio platform is ideal to use for any project involving sensitive data, such as protecting collected data on an identified user. When using Yggio, the customer can freely choose whether they want to use a cloud service or store their data locally. Our customer always owns their data and is in complete control over it.
Water leak monitoring
Sensative’s Strips MS +Drip is ideal for monitoring the early stages of a water leak. Being so thin it can fit under any appliance, under the sink, or similar it can be placed close to possible problems, like pipes or valves.
Sensative’s Strips MS +Guard is ideal for monitoring all types of open-close activity: windows, doors, cabinets, drawers, lockers, you name it. System managers can easily get an alarm or a visualization of what and when something is opened and closed through these sensors.
Due to its ultra-thin design, Strips sensors are the architect’s ideal choice for such areas that might be very narrow or where the esthetics would suffer from a larger device.
There are plenty of use cases to implement in ordinary apartments or houses, and when there are people in need of care living there, you will quickly find yourself with a whole list of possible implementations.
In this project, HFAB uses sensors to collect many different data types in conjunction with other smart devices to aid the residents.
Window and door monitoring
One of the focus areas for which Sensative supplied sensors were for window and door monitoring. Using Sensative’s Strips MS +Guard sensors for LoRaWAN, a user can be notified in the HFAB app whether windows or doors are open and when they are opened and closed.
With many elderly facing problems with memory, movement, and more, monitoring doors and windows is a great implementation to increase security for elderly residents. The system can alert if a window has been open for an extended period when it is cold outside, doors being open for longer than usual, medicine cabinets being opened at the wrong time and more. Through IoT monitoring, staff or caretakers can notice and act quickly on any strange behavior. A simple call to the resident would suffice in many cases, and if the resident does not answer, then a visit is warranted.
Water leak detection
The other sensor focus area was water leak detection – A very straightforward and valuable implementation. As the elderly can more easily forget to turn off taps, forget defrosting food, or whatever the case might be that leads to leakage, noticing a leakage in time is essential to avoid any severe damage to the apartment.
Not only can residents be spared from having to temporarily move during reparations, but the real estate owner can also save vast amounts of money on both avoiding repair costs and insurance fees.
To learn more about HFAB, visit their website @ hfab.se (Swedish).
Read more about the Smarta Hem project here (Swedish).
Watch Leo De Meere and HFAB discuss the project during Halland Tech Week 2020 here (Swedish).
To read more about IoT in elderly care, read our use case Aging in Place here (English).