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Smart homes and welfare technology to create safer homes that benefit patients, healthcare professionals , local authorities and society in general.

The proportion of elderly (60 +) citizens in industrialized countries is growing rapidly. According to UN estimates, this ratio will double to one out of five by 2050, with nearly two billion elderly in the world. To maintain the same quality of service offered today's seniors are required twice as many jobs in the health sector . Today, one out of ten persons living is elderly. In order to maintain the volume and quality of healthcare services received by the elderly today, there must be a doubling in the number of personnel delivering these services today.

By 2020, the shortage of registered nurses is forecasted to be 20% below requirements, implying greater stress and deteriorating working conditions for nurses. In Norway, the estimated shortage of healthcare personnel by 2030 is forecasted to touch 40,000. Our goal is to preserve elderly individuals’ personal control, dignity and quality of life.

It is worth noting that the majority prefer to stay at home as long as possible, given that they have a more comfortable environment. Aging-in-Place (AIP) has become a metaphor for optimized healthcare services that make efficient use of resources, delay placement in institutions or hospitals. AIP also includes the use of assistive technologies like telecare, home safety/automation and social interaction in private homes.

We will address the challenges in creating safer homes for the benefit of patient, healthcare professionals, municipalities and society in general. The project aims to develop a smart system to support integrated and assured AIP services for elderly in a smart home environment, based on recent advances in data-intensive analysis, wireless communications, machine-to-machine (M2M) service architecture, security and reliability, and available broadband in a Fiber-To-The-Home (FTTH) setting.

The system will extend and strengthen social networks of healthcare services by integrating the Internet of Things (IoT) in a smart home with off-site professional service providers. Supported by a big-data analytic engine (a key behind the recent revolution in big-data processing enabling large scale online social networking), the platform should support intelligent ICT-assisted decision-making and integrate and assure different kinds of AIP services, such as:

  • Social interaction (via e.g. video, forum) to prevent social isolation and loneliness
  • Monitoring services enabling prevention
  • Safety services reducing anxiety and fear
  • Overall disease management and support to healthy lifestyles
  • Prolonging independent living and for extending active working life

The project is coordinated by Lyse, and has the following additional partners: Cisco, DevoTeam, VS-Safety, SINTEF, SAFER/Laerdal Medical, The Western Norway Regional Health Authority, Stavanger Municipality, and University of Stavanger (Departments of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciene and Health Studies). The project commenced in 2011 and will continue till the end of 2014.

The project has been funding two doctoral fellowships - one within IT and the other within Health Studies. The first candidate researched Big Data and information and recently completed his doctorate, while the second candidate is researching training and simulation in the context of healthcare.

Safer@Home has developed a framework to safeguard the privacy and confidentiality of sensor data collected from smart homes (Chakravorty, Antorweep, Tomasz Wlodarczyk and Chunming Rong, "Privacy Preserving Data Analytics for Smart Homes. " (2013 ). ON the 13th of November 2013, SINTEF arranged a seminar on "How to successfully manage the data from a property" for delegates from the Norwegian Data Inspectorate, Norwegian Directorate for Health and Social Affairs, Accenture and Tieto.



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