Keeping a caring eye on the elderly
In a nutshell
|Resilience Award||1st Runner-up 2016|
As people grow old, they have a clear preference for continuing to live independently at home. Overburdened public sector budgets cannot meet the full demand for at-home support services, however, and at-home personal carers are increasingly difficult to find.
Technology is needed to support caregivers and ensure that people can live independently both longer and in a healthier state. Traditional telecare services, such as analogue social alarms and wearable pendants, have limited functionality and often go unworn. Moreover, they are relatively expensive and offer no preventative benefits.
Canary Care has developed an affordable home and person activity monitoring system consisting of wireless sensors placed around the home which record movement, door activity, temperatures and care visits. A hub unit transmits the collected data securely to Canary Care via any available mobile phone network. Families and carers access the data via the Canary Care portal using a standard web browser.
By identifying activity patterns, the portal provides reassurance and comfort when patterns are normal and alerts caregivers of anomalies that may require intervention. Families and carers can set up tailored “if then” rules such as “Tell me if Mum's front door is opened between midnight and 6am” – which, if triggered, send a text and/or an e-mail message. The interface also provides detailed analytics that outline trends and flag behavioural anomalies or deteriorating health conditions. This helps users understand the elderly person’s needs and develop an appropriate care plan.
Goals and Impact
Canary Care’s product was launched after 18 months of testing and refinement. Institutional and business clients in the UK such as local authorities and homecare providers constitute about 75% of its customers; the rest are end users who purchase the system via an online shop. The company generates revenues from up-front sales of the system and subsequent subscription fees. As of 2018, the company had sold more than 1 300 systems in the UK.
The team aims to further promote sales through business-to-business channels in the UK, targeting distributors and retailers of health and home medical care equipment (such as pharmacies), insurers, health providers, home care agencies and telecare agencies. Canary Care generates savings for and enhances the value proposition of all these healthcare players.