Digital innovations providing smarter care for the elderly

A bed that records how you move at night.
A bracelet that checks whether you brush your teeth.

Two innovations for improving the lives of the elderly.

“And, at the same time, create growth,” emphasises Mårten Lindskog, from Stockholm Digital Care, one of the exhibitors taking part in this year’s Vitalis.

The special section for Smart Homes and Residential Care Homes will be featured at Vitalis for the second time, spotlighting innovative products and services in welfare and care technology. And Stockholm Digital Care, a collaborative project, partly funded by the ERDF (EU Regional Development Fund), will be among the exhibitors in the section.

“Our goal is to create growth by showing ideas and applications,” says Mårten Lindskog, who will also be one of the Seminar Stage speakers.

The five-year project is being run by Stockholm Municipality, Stockholm County Council, Nacka Municipality, Huddinge Municipality, Sveriges Kommuner och Landsting (Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions), STORSTHLM (Association of Greater Stockholm’s 26 Municipalities), and RISE (Research Institutes of Sweden AB).

The target group is older people in need of help, whether they live in their own homes or in elderly care.

Mårten describes Stockholm Digital Care as a development arena for, on the one hand, requirements arising from the public sector and, on the other hand, small and medium-sized enterprises, often run by innovators and involved enthusiasts.

The Stockholm Digital Care test bench is used to verify new products. One of these is an eHealth system from Aifloo. This bio-inspired, non-invasive, artificial intelligence system is packed into a user-worn, sensor bracelet. This bracelet enables the movement patterns the user to be monitored, and can be used as an alarm or to prevent a fall. If the user deviates from the established normal patterns, a warning signal goes to the care provider.

“Actually, there is no limit to what you can use it for,” says Mårten. “The bracelet can, for example, tell if you forget to brush your teeth. This can be of great importance, as oral health is an important issue in elderly care.”

A completely new innovation, now being tested by Stockholm Digital Care, has been developed by SafeBase.

“The company has a background in advanced weighing instruments,” says Mårten. “The innovation uses an in-bed sensor system connected to AI. It tells the care provider how often or how long a person leaves the bed. Or if the person moves normally or not at all.”

“Many people might think that this is their own business. But bed sores are one of the biggest problems in the care of the elderly. The system provides information that enables the care provider to avoid waking a person unnecessarily in the middle of the night.”

“And when, at the same time, it tells the care provider that another person is not moving in bed, the staff can then prioritise their response. In a word they can make the most of their resources and work more effectively.”

“So, the people who don’t need turning can get an undisturbed night’s sleep. And it can also have great importance with regard to the cost to society.”

The innovation can be used in municipal care and in county-based care. But the division between the responsibilities of the care-providing bodies triggers questions such as who will make the assessments, and which aspects of care are to be carried out by whom? In other words, the innovation can give rise to organisational and legal issues.

“This will be discussed during our seminar at Vitalis. How can we benefit from an innovation that violates current legislation? This is a potential conflict that must be resolved in one way or another.”