Local firm Kinsetsu develops HomeHug system to help older people live independently

  • Local IT firm Kinsetsu has announced its new HomeHug system that uses sensors to help older people maintain their independence in the home for longer.

    The cost of care for older people is set to continue to rise for the forseeable future as life spans continue to increase, and this could present a problem for carers and the families of older people. There may come a point when everyone needs help in their daily life, particularly those with chronic medical conditions and mental health problems, but it's important to help people maintain their independence for as long as possible.

    Technology can provide solutions to many problems associated with maintaining independence in the home, and local IT firm Kinsetsu has developed a system to do just that. The HomeHug system uses IoT sensors set up in an older person's home to track environmental factors and movement in the house, and shares that with family members or carers to help give them peace of mind.

    The tiny low-power sensors have been developed so that they don't require a mains electricity supply or broadband, and family can access the information from the sensors via an app. Business intelligence tech will monitor environmental factors such as heat and lighting in the home and flag up potential problems that could adversely affect the older person's health so that people can take action when needed.

    Kinsetsu Director Joanne O’Doherty commented on the need for systems like HomeHug: "Clinical research shows that the 70+ age group are unable to thermoregulate efficiently with changes of just a few degrees in home temperature increasing the risk of blood clots, stroke and heart failure. This increases the likelihood of unplanned hospital admission which creates pressures elsewhere in the health system."

    The small IT firm already has some impressive clients and has developed tech that makes a real difference to health outcomes. The company is now growing rapidly, having just hired 8 people and planned to hire an additional 5 throughout the year. Invest NI has offered Kinsetsu £243,000 of support towards R&D, marketing, and salaries.

    Source: Invest NI

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    Brendan is a Sync NI writer with a special interest in the gaming sector, programming, emerging technology, and physics. To connect with Brendan, feel free to send him an email or follow him on Twitter.

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