Peterborough City Council and tech start-up Alcove have formed a new partnership designed to facilitate independent living for older and disabled citizens through a connected care framework.
Collaborating with Arcus Global, the contract will utilise in-home Internet of Things technology to automatically notify concerned individuals to any potential problems (for example, a fall or deterioration in health). It will also better connect vulnerable citizens to the wider community.
In a move that will revolutionise the way the council delivers its adult social care service, the initial 100 users to be brought online this year will be given a personalised selection of Internet enabled devices that are catered to their individual needs.
Among other things, the technology will feature:
- Packages of in-home sensors that can identify and alert neighbours, family members or care workers to any potential problems
- Smart wearables which can be used to raise an alarm in an emergency, permit approved people to speak to the citizen, or send notifications to the wearer
- Tablets that allow video calling between family, carers and health workers
- Radio-frequency identification (RFID) technology “monitors health and care visits in the house, and activates alerts if workers are late or do not show up”
Furthermore, the technology has the potential to move towards a predictive service delivery model, enabling individuals and carers to identify adverse changes and save money by “smarter deployment of better skilled health and care workers”.
Pushing the boundaries of technology
Gillian Beasley, Chief Executive, Peterborough Council, has commented on the local authority’s positive approach towards new technology.
“At Peterborough Council, we like to push the boundaries of technology to help deliver smarter services which transform lives, reduce social isolation and tackle austerity,” she said.
“The council already has an innovative technology strategy which utilises the best of breed public sector software. With Alcove, we now believe we have found a fantastic social care monitoring system which fits perfectly into our technology strategy and transformation programme.
“From first meeting the team it’s obvious how passionate Alcove is about using technology to enhance the wellbeing of our residents and we are therefore extremely excited to be working with them to help transform the lives of local people”.
The director of Alcove Limited, Hellen Bowey, said that the company is delighted to be working with Peterborough Council, as it shares their vision “for a long term care revolution, powered by technology”.