09/08/2019

IT Product To Care For OAP's Living Alone

A local IT firm has developed a product that allows older people to live independently for longer by monitoring their home environment.

Kinsetsu's 'HomeHug' reports on domestic surroundings through a mobile app so concerned family members are kept up to date with information about the environment in their loved one's home.

Using sensor technology, it provides data on temperature, movement and lighting, issuing alerts to family members when abnormal changes that may affect the person's health occur.

The product has been designed to operate without electricity or broadband so it is accessible for all.

Kinsetsu Director Joanne O'Doherty said: "Clinical research shows that the 70+ age group are unable to thermoregulate efficiently with changes of just a few degrees in home temperature increasing the risk of blood clots, stroke and heart failure. This increases the likelihood of unplanned hospital admission which creates pressures elsewhere in the health system.

"We knew we could use tiny sensors to create a solution to monitor the home environment and keep remote family members informed, providing alerts to prompt early intervention when needed.

"We are passionate about making a difference with Internet of Things (IoT) solutions. Our new HomeHug is unique as it does not require electricity or broadband. It has been specifically designed to make it low cost and accessible for all."
News Image
With permission, the 'HomeHug' can share relevant information with external healthcare workers and monitor the arrival of care professionals.

Invest NI offered Kinsetsu £243,000 of support towards research & development, marketing of the product and key worker salaries. It has also offered support to help the company win £1million of new business across its product range, in a variety of sectors.

Dr Vicky Kell, Invest Northern Ireland's Director of Innovation, Research & Development said: "Kinestsu is an ambitious company continually looking to innovate and grow its product offering. As well as supporting this latest R&D project we have also helped the company with training, salary costs for key workers and trademarking key products."

Joanne O'Doherty said the product was inspired by an ageing population and growing demand to support independent living to enable the elderly to live longer at home, an issue that is not unique to Northern Ireland.

She explained: "One in five of the world's population is predicted to be aged 65 or over in little more than a decade with the UK, Japan, Germany, Italy, USA and France predicted to have 'super-aged' populations by 2030. We were keen to act quickly to bring HomeHug to market to help us increase our client base in NI, GB and the Republic of Ireland and to break into the European market. Invest NI's continued support makes this possible."



(JG/CM)

Related Northern Ireland News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

11 November 2010
Elderly Care Bill Gets All-Party Backing
The care of older people has been in focus across both the UK and in Ireland this week - with dramatically different outcomes in the two states.
14 January 2020
'Breakthrough' £30m Pay Offer For Health Unions
A 'breakthrough' offer for salary parity has been tabled to health unions in Northern Ireland, the Health Minister has confirmed. Robin Swann said the offer comes after some very difficult days for local health services as he set out the terms to the newly formed Assembly.
14 January 2020
UUP: Flybe 'Crucial' To NI Activity
Flybe is crucially important to the connectivity of Northern Ireland, Ulster Unionist Leader Steve Aiken has warned. The UK Government is under pressure to save the commercial airline amid fears of the company's collapse due to rising losses. Flybe operates 14 routes from Belfast City Airport, more than is offered by any other airline.
14 January 2020
Justice Minister Condemns West Belfast Shooting
Justice Minister Naomi Long has demanded an end to paramilitary style attacks in the wake of a shooting in west Belfast that left a man with life changing injuries. An incident in the Burnaby Walk area at around 6pm on Monday 13 January left a 39 year-old man with gunshot wounds to his knee and ankle.
18 February 2011
Mivan Contracts Win Praise
A Co Antrim-based firm that operates within the construction and marine refurbishment sectors and employs over 300 people in Northern Ireland and Britain has been in focus today. The Stormont Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster has congratulated Mivan on securing contracts worth over £30m in new markets during the past six months.