Sensors will be put in houses to observe behavior and power usage, which will be analyzed by AI to identify potential health issues. In a three-month trial, 100 individuals in Dorset who require social care will be watched by artificial intelligence (AI). The technology, developed by Lilli in the United Kingdom, claims to be able to reduce expenses and the frequency of necessary care visits.
However, according to one expert, the programme may appear intrusive to certain patients.
People who have joint replacements or illnesses including diabetes, dementia, long Covid, and chronic fatigue syndrome, commonly known as ME, who are discharged from the hospital typically require care and assistance during their rehabilitation.
According to Nick Weston, Lilli’s chief commercial officer, each participant in the Dorset trial will have an average of six to nine sensors put in their houses.
There are no cameras in the devices, which track temperature, movement, and the use of certain appliances. “We’ll look at how often they put the kettle on, how often they open the fridge,” Mr. Weston told. “Because we’re monitoring on an individual level, we would see small changes in behavior.”
The aim is to automatically record gains in personal freedom in the house or, alternatively, to alert users to behavior that might signal a concern. For example, repeated toilet visits in the middle of the night might indicate a urinary tract infection or other issues.
Mr. Weston anticipates that all participants will be registered by the middle of September. Lilli thinks it can cut the number of support visits patients require by 780 hours every year, saving Dorset Council £250,000 per year in expenditures.
Lead member for health at Dorset Council, Piers Brown said, “It has the potential to improve provision across Dorset and our partner organizations in the NHS, making sure we are able to support people safely in their own homes.”
In some locations in England like in South London and one in North East, Mr. Weston went on to say that Lilli intends to expand the system. “We’ve got more people being treated in the community than ever before – technology has to support that delivery,” he said.
Prof Tom Sorrell of the University of Warwick, who has studied telecare and care robots, stated that technology that monitors people’s health remotely, also known as telecare, is typically inexpensive to implement and can help individuals who want more freedom to accomplish it.
However, he added: “It can increase people’s loneliness if what’s happening is care visits are being replaced by technology.” Mr. Weston explained that the approach was designed to guarantee that patients were receiving the best appropriate treatment for their illness, not merely decrease expenses or reduce interaction with them.
“We shouldn’t be relying on home care agency staff to provide social interaction for somebody,” he said.
Before the Lilli system can be implemented, registered patients or someone authorized to give consent on their behalf, such as a family member, must grant written approval.
Patients’ data residences are secured both during transmission and storage, and only the organization delivering patient care will have access to it, according to Lilli.
Prof Anthea Tinker of King’s College London’s Institute of Gerontology said that participants and their families would have to evaluate how comfortable they were with this type of behavioral monitoring.
She mentioned that some individuals could be uncomfortable with the thought of having their bathroom trips recorded by a computer. She also mentioned that getting informed permission from some patients might be challenging.
She also said, “It’s an awkward balance particularly, I think, for people with dementia as to how far you go with things like this.”