Salix Homes, a social housing provider based in Salford is working with Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust, The University of Manchester, and the University of Salford on a research project called MiiHome.
This ground-breaking project has the long-term goal to help older people live more safely in their homes and maintain their independence by monitoring their well-being using artificial intelligence.
MiiHome is a software which uses sensors such as Microsoft Kinect Technology fitted into elderly people’s homes.
As a part of the first research study, the sensors have been fitted around Salix Homes’ living schemes.
The residents taking part in the study are being monitored for three months by researchers at the University of Manchester.
Afterwards, the data will be analysed to identify the behaviour patterns which could be possibly linked to the health condition.
Caroline Gardner, research associate at the University of Manchester, said:
“We are very grateful to the residents at Salix Homes who have kindly agreed to help us with this first study and I will be making regular visits to see how everyone is getting on and how the Kinect technology is performing. It is really important for us to know if it is practical to install this type of equipment and to learn from their experiences.”
Lily McEwen, 89, one of the first residents of Salix Homes who decided to sign up for the initial study due to her mobility issues, stated that she is very happy to be a part of the project as it is a great way to help more people in the future who suffer similar illnesses.
Salix Homes residents are currently working together with the technical teams to ensure that the system meets all their needs. A much larger study is planned with over 100 different homes across Salford taking part in the project by 2019.
If the project is successful, there is a hope for censor technology to become a necessary part of an elderly person’s home – especially if they live on their own.