New sensor system to help ensure seniors’ safety at home

ConnectedLife, a local technology startup of Singapore, has launched a six-month trial of a new wireless sensor system in collaboration with the Adventist Home for the Elders to ensure the safety of the elderly by alerting family members in any emergency.

The trial was launched in early November 2106, and as a pilot test, two studio apartments have been selected. One of the studio apartments belongs to 78-year-old Madam Ng Siew Eng who lives alone at Golden Clover in Toa Payoh East. Her house keys have been attached to a device that is able to alert her sons at the press of a button if she is in trouble.

Using the device which is connected remotely to a server, the company is able to sense if the elderly woman is at home or not using seven wireless sensors attached to the walls of her bedroom, toilet, kitchen and living room. Another device is placed at her bedside to record her sleeping patterns.

The sensors used by ConnectedLife are each the size of a palm and weigh approximately 20 grams. They are currently under test, and can be configured to detect typical movements. In the event of an emergency or unusual behavior such as prolonged toilet activity, the sensors trigger a mobile phone alert to family members.

“Before, I was worried I might pass out and nobody would know…now, with this emergency button, I am very happy,” said Madam Ng in Mandarin.

She was visited by the Prime Minister Office Senior Minister of State Mrs. Josephine Teo on November 27, who told reporters that the new sensor system would assist the elderly to live more independently and ensure timely help. “When it comes to responding to seniors’ needs, timeliness is the priority,” she said.

Another 10 houses at the Golden Clover will join the trial by January 2017. In addition, a senior activity centre at the foot of the block was also officially opened by the Adventist Home for Elders. The Adventist Active Centre at Golden Clover began operations in November 2015, and is the second centre to be set up by the voluntary welfare organization.

The sensor system has also been installed at 86-year-old Madam Han Tew Chin’s house who also visits the centre daily. According to her son, 60-year-old bank officer Leong Chee Kong, “She knows quite a few neighbors and they are very friendly, taking care of her. It’s a blessing.”

He added that the sensor system would give him peace of mind as his mother was usually alone on weekdays when he went to work. “We had a few scares in the past year when she slipped in the bathroom and hurt her thigh, or when she felt giddy,” he said.

More information can be found at: The Straits Times.

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