Unlocking the social benefits of SMART Meters for uses in assistive living and healthcare

15 Feb 2017

Through a partnership between Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust and Liverpool John Moores University an exciting research study is about to commence to test a piece of digital technology which has the potential to support independent living for a variety of people.

In the UK, the number of people living with self-limiting conditions, such as Dementia, Parkinson’s disease and depression is increasing. The resulting strain on national healthcare resources means that providing 24-hour monitoring for patients is a challenge. As this problem escalates, caring for an ageing population will become more demanding over the next decade. With the implementation of electricity smart meters an alternative and cost effective method for supporting independent living that offers enhancements for Early Intervention Practices (EIP) becomes feasible.

In the UK, the national roll out of smart electricity meters is underway, which enables detailed around-the-clock monitoring of energy usage. This data can  capture detailed habits and routines through the users interactions with electrical devices.  This feasibility study will use this valuable data to provide an innovative remote monitoring system.

This research involves monitoring patients wellbeing through electricity usage in their home by identifying the individual devices being used. The system works  with the householder’s smart meter and will enable automated round the clock monitoring to promote safe independent living and preventative care with little cost to the NHS and social services.

The technology has to potential to deliver a cost effective and non-intrusive monitoring system for  healthcare practitioners, family or carers which will support individuals with self-limiting health conditions to maintain their independence at home for as long as possible. One of the main healthcare benefits of the system is the ability to facilitate a more timely response for Early Intervention Practice (EIP).

The first phase of this research will test the systems feasibility for use with dementia patients living alone.

If you want to know more about the research please contact: 

Carl Chalmers, Systems Engineer, Information and Technology Service

Pauline Parker, Research Manager, Centre for Perfect Care

Jill Pendleton: Dementia Lead/Centre for Perfect Care