SmartGuardian Is Next-Generation Home Elder Care

Major Irish study calls for SmartGuardian-type elder care solution

In 2019 a major study* was conducted by the National Disability Authority of Ireland, together with Health Innovation Hub Ireland, Cork Institute of Ireland, Nimbus Research Centre, Independent Living Ireland, Amicitia & University of Cork, to provide a vision of how smart technology, specifically fall detection technologies, could support older people living on their own within the community. Its conclusion included the following vision:
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"Tom is 75 and is starting to get infirm. He lives on his own. Tom’s home is a smart home. At all times, Tom’s home recognises where he is in the home. It knows what he is doing, 66 whether he is in bed, in the kitchen, if he is cooking or watching TV. The smart home system uses ambient sensors for this.
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Tom talks to his home through a voice recognition system and his home can respond. When Tom’s home detects that Tom has forgotten to take his medicine, it reminds him. When the home detects that he has fallen, it alerts a caregiver or family member. It can even directly alert emergency services if it detects a serious health issue."
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In 2024, SmartGuardian delivers this vision to Dublin families in their loved one's homes.
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The study also highlights the overarching need for an always-on fall detection solution for safe ageing at home

"Our population is ageing. In the European Union as a whole, people aged 65 and over accounted for 19.4% of the population in 2017 and this is predicted to increase to 23.9% by 2030 (Eurostat, 2017). As a result of the population movement between age groups, the old-age dependency ratio in Ireland is projected to increase from an EU low of 20% in 2015 to 28.7% in 2030 (Eurostat, 2018). This will likely increase demand of care and support services. Smart technology can help and support us in our daily activities."
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"Smart technologies used in the home related to the risk of falling are particularly relevant to older people and persons with disabilities. Falls experienced by older people can have life changing consequences including serious injuries, disability, psychological consequences and even death. On average one in three older people fall every year and two-thirds of these fallers will fall again within six months (Health Service Executive et al. 2008). Falls also present a significant financial burden on the healthcare system with an estimated annual cost of falls and fractures of €402 million to the economy in Ireland in 2007 (Gannon, O’Shea & Hudson, 2007)."
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* Universal Design of Fall Detection Technologies in the Smart Home and their Impact on Lifetime Communities. Click HERE to view study - Its conclusion can be found on page 65.
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