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City of York to trial smart watches with elderly

City of York Council is give elderly residents smart watches, as part of a pilot scheme designed to help shape its long-term social care strategy.

The local authority has teamed up with social care technology specialist Sensing247 and its partner Pinacl for the trial programme.

The smart watches can monitor a range of indicators including body temperature, heart rate and sleep patterns as well as tracking step count to see how active someone has been.

The devices are useful in many different health scenarios including patients who are being released from hospital or have a health condition that needs to be monitored.

The wearable technology is supported by state-of-the-art sensors in a home that can collate a range of data.

This includes capturing temperature and humidity, movement, how often doors open and close and power consumption. There is also a panic button sensor used to call for help.

Meanwhile, Sensing247’s Oximeter device that monitors blood oxygen saturation levels and a blood pressure device are being trialled by Age UK.

Last week, Social Care Today reported how social care leaders have been urged to use robotic technology in order to help transform services in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis in a new report by PA Consulting.

‘York is a real trailblazer in looking at harnessing innovative and disruptive technology for the benefit of older people in the city,’ said Pinacl’s business development director, Mark Lowe.

‘The combination of wearable and sensor technology has the potential to be a genuine game-changer for pre-emptive and outcome-based care.

‘We are also seeing lots of enquiries from local authorities and social care providers faced with the challenges of looking after the elderly as we emerge from the Covid-19 pandemic when access to people’s homes is still heavily restricted,’ added Mr Lowe.

The City of York Council’s head of ICT and digital services, Roy Grant, added: ‘Residents tell us that they want to stay independent in their own homes and mobile for as long as possible.

‘To help make this happen, we are assessing our ability to reduce some of the impacts of isolation while also helping and supporting our Social Care colleagues in these challenging times.

‘We are hopeful these solutions can also help us address the unprecedented budget pressure that we and other local authorities are facing.’

Photo Credit – Fancycrave1 (Pixabay)

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