New technology to transform homecare

Mobile application uses predictive analytics to identify patients at risk and reduce hospital admissions

A ‘well-being’ App has been developed that will benefit frail and vulnerable people being cared for in their own homes by helping prevent accidents and injuries and therefore will ultimately reduce hospital admissions.

The pioneering technology uses predictive analytics, and addresses the increasing demand to bring healthcare back into the community. It allows homecare professionals, such as occupational therapists, to monitor high risk patients who have returned home after hospital admission by gathering data in a controlled environment.

If a patient is discharged from hospital but is deemed high risk, a carer or family member is able to input and analyse data in real-time, such as when they need to eat, sleep, be active or take medication. GPs or carers can then be notified of any changes to the person’s well-being. It also lets care staff capture patients’ goal assessment information and outcomes easily at the point of care delivery. The application is also inherently flexible and will work with all leading outcome-based care models.

CM2000, a leading provider of electronic monitoring systems, is experienced in developing innovative technology to meet the needs of the health and social care market for the last 15 years. It has developed this solution in partnership with Edinburgh Napier University though the Business Innovation Exchange (BIE) programme, which was created enhance the ability of SMEs to drive innovation and growth by linking up with academics.

The project is anticipated to deliver a wide range of efficiencies for health workers and organisations (Councils / NHS) in terms of cost and time savings and enhanced resource management whilst delivering better outcomes for the individual.

Brian Brown, CM2000 Director for Scotland, has been impressed by the team at Edinburgh Napier University and said: “With an increasing number of older people choosing to remain in their own homes, it is essential that better use is made of technology to validate service delivery. This new app allows actions to be taken to prevent hospital admissions, which has the potential to save health and social care services millions of pounds.

“We are therefore very excited to be working with Edinburgh Napier to develop big data predictive techniques around frailty that can be used proactively to identify patients at risk.”

Adrian Smales, an Edinburgh Napier University researcher on the project, added: “Frailty is a thing that can happen at any time in someone’s life and the early indications of it are often the first signs of a long-term illness. At Edinburgh Napier University we are applying advanced data analytics to make judgements on whether a person shows the early signs of illness and aim to support personalised care plans. This analysis includes data that has never been used within a clinical environment before such as the number of times that a person has fallen as well as socio-economic data.”

Interest from health and social care stakeholders has already been high and Edinburgh Napier is hosting workshops to allow interested industry professionals to feed into the project. The team will also attend a number of conferences and events to disseminate information as it makes plans for full commercialisation of the new app.

CM2000 is funding the project with support from the Scottish Funding Council.

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