Carers that do not live with their elderly relatives find it more difficult to identify changes in their functional ability so as to identify help that could prevent the onset of more serious problems. It can also be hard to keep track of who has been visiting them and how these visitors have found them.
In the UK there are 10.7m people over 65, 3.8m of whom live alone. It is estimated that 3m 9 (or 17%) of the workforce have some caring responsibilities and 43% of these people have indicated stress due to caring.
Howz makes it easy to track and share information about an individual’s well-being, particularly their functional ability, every day. Those in regular contact with the elderly person (e.g. families, care providers, home delivery, social services and the UK National Health Service) can record their visits as observations for the benefit of others involved in that person’s care.
This human intelligence is fused with data from low cost, non-invasive sensors in the patient’s home which can track daily patterns of activity, spot anomalies and send alerts to the family. Over a longer period of time trends indicate early warning of the need, for example to revise a care plan.
The Howz app allows the individual to control who is able to join their network of care and who can see their information. As well as sharing a timeline of activity and recording visits, the app includes our frailty checkup which provides a useful tool to track the presence of frailty over time and identify problems at the earliest opportunity.
A version of Howz for care homes allows management to quickly manage a number of messages regarding residents and connect with family and visitors through a single portal.
How we did it
We have worked with individuals, families, local carers, and associated agencies to develop a user friendly interface. We then tested the concept with a number of families to ensure the system added a clear benefit without being too difficult to set up. We are continuing our testing with families and will fully launch Howz in Spring 2016.