Embracing Peace of Mind: How IoT is Revolutionising Elderly Care 

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30 November 2023 / by Richard Lansdowne Semtech

In the quiet of his home, a son contemplates the well-being of his 84-year-old mother who lives alone.

The worry is a constant companion, a shadow that grows longer with each passing year. Traditional methods of monitoring, like bracelets or lanyards with emergency buttons, are often rejected by the elderly—they are seen as symbols of frailty, an admission of vulnerability. But what if technology could offer a solution that preserves dignity while providing peace of mind? 

The Invisible Guardian: Smart Sensing for the Elderly 

Enter a technological match between Semtech’s AirVantage® Managed Solutions: Smart Sensing, and UK based Archangel, a pioneer in connecting UK’s telecare subscribers to alarm receiving centers. Archangel uses AirVantage Smart Sensing to non-invasively track the daily routines of telehealth users —a technological guardian angel that’s discreet yet vigilant. By proactively issuing preventive alerts on potential health risks, Archangel minimizes the occurrence of real emergencies. 

For our concerned son, this means deploying a small number of smart sensors in his mother’s home that require no action on her part. They become silent observers, collecting data on daily activities and patterns, all without intruding on her independence. 

A real-life embodiment of this technology’s potential is seen in the innovative approach being used by Archangel. Faced with the challenge of transitioning from traditional, reactive alarm systems to a more predictive, passive monitoring model, Archangel embraced Semtech’s Smart Sensing service. This service, built on the robust AirVantage Management Platform, enabled Archangel to deploy a proof-of-concept that intelligently learns and monitors daily patterns of residents, foreseeing potential health risks. This successful collaboration is now set to revolutionize elderly care in the UK, with a mass rollout planned with housing associations and local authorities by early 2024. 

A Dashboard of Daily Life 

Through Archangel’s user-friendly dashboard, the son can monitor his mother’s activity. This isn’t about surveillance; it’s about subtle patterns that paint a picture of normalcy or signal a need for intervention. The data might show the frequency of bathroom visits during the night, providing insights into her health that were previously only available through direct observation or self-reporting. 

Understanding the Baseline 

What’s normal for one person may be a cause for concern for another. By establishing a baseline pattern, the smart sensor can detect deviations that might indicate a medical emergency. This isn’t just data; it’s a lifeline that can alert the son to potential issues before they become emergencies. 

Responding to the Unspoken 

Perhaps the most powerful aspect of this technology is its ability to detect the absence of activity. A lack of movement during a time when the mother is usually active could trigger an alert, prompting the son to check in. It’s a system that respects the mother’s desire for independence while providing the son with a tool to ensure her well being. 

The Human Touch in a Digital Age 

This story is not unique. It’s echoed in homes across the world where the elderly choose to live independently. The beauty of Semtech and Archangel’s combined solution lies in its ability to bridge the gap between the need for care and the desire for autonomy. It’s a testament to how technology, when thoughtfully applied, can enhance human lives. 

“I am thrilled with Semtech’s Smart Sensing solution- it is precisely what Archangel needs as we spearhead the UK challenge to switch in excess of 1.8 million individuals from analogue reactive pendant solutions to digital ambient monitoring systems,” said Tom Morton, CEO of Archangel Ltd. “Archangel collaborates with scalable, reliable global partners to implement our vision of connecting silo systems and delivering a better way to provide services using proactive and preventative models within an integrated health, care and housing system. Semtech’s pedigree and comprehensive offering, including cellular connectivity, aligns perfectly with our deployment strategy.”  

The Future of Elderly Care 

As we look to the future, the potential for IoT in elderly care is boundless. From detecting falls to monitoring sleep patterns and even predicting potential health issues, the data collected can be a powerful ally in maintaining the health and independence of our loved ones. 

For the son of the 84-year-old woman, and for countless others like him, Semtech’s AirVantage® Smart Sensing Managed Service is more than a product—it’s a promise. A promise of security, of swift response, and, most importantly, of allowing our elderly to age with grace in the comfort of their own homes. In this digital age, the human touch remains paramount, and with IoT, it’s just a heartbeat away. 

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