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  • Periodic Reporting for period 1 - Loc8torHC (A disruptive healthcare monitoring solution that by nature of what and how it monitors (IoT) improves home safety, user wellbeing and provides early warning to help avoid critical admissions)

Loc8torHC Report Summary

Project ID: 710460

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - Loc8torHC (A disruptive healthcare monitoring solution that by nature of what and how it monitors (IoT) improves home safety, user wellbeing and provides early warning to help avoid critical admissions)

Reporting period: 2016-01-01 to 2016-06-30

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

Caring of ageing population will be one of the greatest challenges during this century. Most elderly people want to remain independent in their own homes for as long as possible. This decision can cause their children to worry about their parents’ wellbeing. This is when technology enabled care services (TECS), such as telecare and telehealth, provides a solution. TECS revenues in the EU28+2 countries reached an estimated €1.89 billion in 2013.

To cope with this demand, next-generation telecare and tele-health platforms need to be enriched with innovative products. However, current monitoring devices for the elderly, can be divided into two types. The first is nothing more than a panic button connected to a 24-hour emergency telephone operator. It does little, costs a lot, and results in a lot of false alarms. The second kind is an incredibly complex, medical device that is beyond most seniors’ (and carers’) understanding which prevents mass market adoption.

Loc8tor HealthCare (Loc8torHC), a disruptive, cost effective, scalable TECS platform targeted at the retail market. The core platform will be simple and work out of the box with no installation. Meanwhile, the carer can go online and configure the type of information they want the platform to send them, how often they want to receive updates, and whether they want updates in an e-mail, text message, or some other format.

The core product will include 6 core services; location, wander, fall, panic, activity and temperature in one device. Our competitive advantage is that our platform can easily be configured for numerous applications by adding 3rd party devices (blood pressure, heart rate, etc.) through a plug and play Bluetooth port. The data collected from the medical sensors, combined with daily activity patterns (core Loc8torHC tags), and any other data sources (weather, pollution etc.) will be processed through our algorithm to generate a recommended diagnostic output in real time.

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

Loc8tor’s mission is to empower families and friends who are looking after people they love the most. Loc8tor’s devices allow people to keep a close watched eye on their loved one, elderly relative or impaired individual; keeping them informed about their safety, health and wellbeing and enabling them to take immediate and decisive action, should it be needed.

The result is both an improved quality of life and greater ability to live independently. The easy to use system unobtrusively monitors both health and wellbeing, giving both families and the individual the peace of mind and confidence they deserve. To achieve this, Loc8tor has developed an affordable, simple solution which addresses the primary need of knowing if an individual (or someone in care) is in any sort of vulnerability or danger such as having a fall, high or low room temperatures (e.g. a fire), blood pressure risen dangerously high, or anything else potentially affecting their health, safety or wellbeing.

The unique Loc8tor healthcare solution (with the working name of Loc8torHC) will allow the family or friend of an individual to be in a position of knowledge so that the appropriate action can be rapidly taken. For the people under care themselves (i.e. the individual) it is to give peace of mind that help is quickly on its way and the chance of being rushed to hospital is reduced.

Despite the rapidly aging population and greater pressures for home healthcare, the current state of the home healthcare monitoring market is muddled and not customer-centric. What exists today is overly complicated, works in silos, is difficult to use and there’s a lack of clarity as to what is exactly is on offer and how effective it will be. Where customers should purchase their systems is also unclear and not user friendly.

There’s not as of yet a comprehensive, digital healthcare solution, targeted at the consumer market in the form or a product that can be bought in a store, that can monitor and report on a number of sensory inputs in real time across a variety of scenario’s whilst also being a meaningful tool to help reduce costly critical re-admissions. It is the intention that Loc8torHC solution will offer such a solution; filling a gap in the market providing a simple yet comprehensive monitoring solution providing peace of mind to the customers and users alike.

The work in this feasibility study identified:
• The best geographical markets (outside of the UK) to launch the project results into and the identification of retailers outside of the UK. These included high street pharmacy chains and electronic stores
• Partners across the EU to assist with product roll-out, marketing and sales
• The regulatory and medical approval requirements to develop the Loc8torHC from a telecare platform to a telehealth platform
• A solid and credible business plan to successfully launch the platform in the selected markets
• An outline for our Phase 2 project to access these markets and deliver these capabilities

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

The current TECS state of the art has several limitations that prevent the mass-marketing of the technology in the sector. The products available offer separate devices for fall detection, panic button, remote monitoring of well-being measurements (weight, pulse oximetry etc.), location detection and other functions, which often is not user-friendly. The fall detection technique is not robust and the rate of false alarm is high which creates confusion to the carers and increases the cost of care. In addition, the whole system is difficult to setup and needs professional installation, adding significantly to the cost. The working range is limited and the primary notification sending method is still analogue (from the device to the call centre and manually contact to the authorised carer) working down conventional telephone line, significantly limiting what can be reported. People are already familiar with the panic button systems currently on the market, although such devices do not come close to meeting consumer needs.

Loc8torHC has a number of novel features not seen in competing products. To give two as an example:
1) For Dementia and Alzheimer suffers we have the ability to pinpoint the location of any item within the Loc8torHC property. The system can identify whether the item is at home and which area of the house and from there the Loc8tor handset allows users to track and pinpoint any tagged device such as misplaced pill dispenser to within 1cm.
2) The Loc8torHC platform also tracks and recognises each user individually so if people move to different locations or to a different house (or through a care home) they will still stay connected to the platform and their support network, albeit through a different hub.
There has been a large volume of work done surrounding understanding customer behaviour which has been out of scope for this Phase 1 project. Loc8tor is working on designing a system that can be easy to use and encourage behavioural change. The platform has the ability to encourage users to make changes to their life, such as encouraging healthier decisions or aiding drug compliance.

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