London-based home care provider Cera is planning the roll-out of assistive technology this year to allow staff to remotely monitor the health and well-being of their clients.
The company has partnered with technology giant IBM and has been trialing the use of sensors in the home for a number of months.
“These are LiDAR sensors, similar to those used by self-driving cars to ‘see’ what’s around them. In our case, these sensors allow us to determine a range of movements, such as if someone has had a fall, their activity levels, their position, and information about their gait,” Dr Ben Maruthappu, CEO & Co-founder of Cera, told Home Care Insight.
The sensors are placed in the corner of the client’s room; users do not need to wear it, meaning it’s less intrusive than alternative types of sensors.
“This approach allows us to offer 24/7 monitoring and support to service users, so we can provide care even when someone’s not there, giving more peace of mind to users and their families,” explained Dr Maruthappu.
“We are hoping to roll out this technology more broadly later this year, and explore the use of new service models that combine in-person care with sensor technology, allowing a given care-worker to potentially look after and visit more service users than otherwise would be possible, bringing greater sustainability to the sector.”
The news follow’s the announcement in February that Cera will roll out its SmartCare technology platform after receiving a $70 million (£54m) investment.
The platform features an app that allows care workers to log information about each of their visits. This information is then analysed in real time by algorithms, and the platform suggests the risks of someone becoming unwell, so that a care worker or branch staff member can take appropriate action where necessary.
In early roll-outs of the technology, Cera’s SmartCare platform identified over 715 cases of previously undetected health risks and has shown to be 93% accurate at correctly identifying the next best action for a patient’s health needs.
SmartCare has also enabled services users to stay connected to their loved ones during the coronavirus pandemic.
“It allows family members to know that their loved one is being cared for and receiving the right services at the right time,” said Dr Maruthappu.
“That connectivity, which is possible through technology, is really powerful, now in particular. It’s great that we can use technology in what would otherwise be a very isolating time.”
Cera became one of the biggest home care providers in the UK when it acquired Mears Group’s domiciliary care business in February.
The company now operates 20 offices across England and wales, employing more than 2,000 members of staff and carrying out 10,000 visits per day.
The full interview with Dr Ben Maruthappu will be published in the coming days.