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Intelesant / The Spy Who Loves Me

by Contagious I/O

This story originally appeared on Contagious I/O, our intelligence tool featuring the most creative and effective ideas in marketing from around the world

Manchester health company creates IoT sensor kit to help families watch over elderly relatives

Concerned about aged relatives who live far away? A digital health specialist has developed a system that keeps an eye on the elderly by tracking their electricity use.

Intelesant’s smart meter-like app uses sensors to track home appliances and fixtures and sends out an alert if they’re used at odd times or not at all.

The monitoring system is called Howz and it plugs directly into a home’s electricity meter. A few days after it is installed, Howz will have learned the routine in the house and will watch out for unexpected deviations in the use of heating, lighting and other electrical appliances.

Howz can also monitor doors opening and closing, as well as pick up subtle behaviour changes, such as gradually waking earlier and earlier, which could indicate health problems.

If something seems amiss, Howz will send a notification to the phone of a nominated friend or family member.

The device has been tested in the homes of dementia sufferers who lived with carers as part of a £5 million trial by the Surrey and Borders Partnership NHS Foundation Trust to discover if there’s a role for the internet of things in healthcare.

The product is available to purchase on the brand’s website and costs £199 for the starter pack.

 

Contagious Insight / 

Limits / Howz is a glimpse of a future where the internet of things helps society manage a growing elderly population, but there are limitations. Chief among those is a concern that Howz becomes a substitute for face-to-face visits with elderly relatives, which even Intelesant warns against on its website. Howz is also limited to providing circumstantial information about a person’s health (a wearable that measures heart rate etc. would be more direct), but it does illustrate how data can be used to paint a bigger picture.

Old idea / Olleh, a Korean telco, created a system along the same lines as Howz to promote its TV service. The Life Saving TV Project notified a designated social worker when an elderly person switched on their TV each morning, but also sent a warning when the TV had not be used in more than 24 hours.

 

 

This story originally appeared on Contagious I/O, our intelligence tool featuring the most creative and effective ideas in marketing from around the world. I/O helps anyone in the world of marketing understand why brands are innovating, how they're doing it and with what success.

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