Continuing our celebration of the most innovative home care solutions of the year, today we spotlight assistive technology company Sentai.
Click here to read more about our Home Care Solutions of the Year series.
See below to learn about Sentai, a British technology start-up, chosen in November to receive financial backing from the government.
Sentai is a smart buddy for independent living – using artificial intelligence to provide the next generation of elderly care.
The device’s speakers, sensors and app learn routines, start conversations, and stay quietly alert to service users’ movements, while augmented voice technology listens to commands and finds answers to questions or keep a conversation going.
Whether it’s a reminder about watching a favourite programme or a prompt to call an old friend, Sentai connects the elderly with the outside world – without imposing or feeling like ‘new technology’. Sentai is designed not only to reduce feelings of isolation and loneliness, but also to increase care and connectivity when it’s never been needed more.
Caregivers and family members are discreetly connected via the Sentai app – notifications confirm medication is taken and meals are eaten.
Sentai is also alert and intelligent in its thinking – tackling issues when carergivers aren’t present. For example, it knows the difference between a cat and a cat burglar, and won’t trigger alerts if someone’s going for a regular trip to the toilet, but it will send a notification via the carer’s app for unusual movements, or a lack of movement at usual times.
In November, the company received a grant from Innovate UK, the UK’s innovation agency.
Sentai said the Sustainable Innovation Fund will help in bringing the device to market at a time when Age UK estimates that 1.4 million people aged 50 and over in England suffer from loneliness.
Thanks to advancements in machine-learning capabilities, Sentai is designed to provide a contextual experience with the user, meaning conversations feel natural rather than robotic or one way. For example, it can detect the mood of a person from their voice and centre responses around that.
To further help get the device into the homes of people who need it, Sentai has launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds for the next stage of its development – the success of which will see its technology brought to mass market.
Sentai has also launched a nationwide campaign to help recognise and support professional and informal carers across the UK.
The #ReachOutAndHelpOut campaign was launched following research, conducted in October, which found that most carers are only occasionally asked about their own wellbeing – leaving them in danger of being forgotten when it comes to mental health.