Transforming care and health at home

A grandson and grandmother holding hands during conversation

14 new multidisciplinary projects will develop technologies to help people to transform their care and health, and be more independent.

They include a project led by King’s College London and the University of Chester that aims to develop a monitoring and communication system with electronics built into clothing and home furniture. The system will measure loneliness levels in older people.

A team led by Loughborough University will work with housing providers and developers, local authorities, and government departments to determine:

  • the key environmental factors in sleep degradation
  • how people can achieve better quality sleep
  • how existing homes can be refurbished to both reduce energy demand and improve comfort in summer.

And researchers at the University of Southampton aim to develop new interactive technology that will help to build and preserve the strength needed to maintain healthful independence at home.

£10 million investment

They are funded by a £10 million investment from:

  • Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), part of UK Research and Innovation
  • National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR).

EPSRC Director for Cross-Council Programmes, Dr Kedar Pandya, said:

Peoples’ needs and preferences, and those of their families and communities, must be at the heart of research to create good housing that maximises independence and prevents ill health.

The projects announced today bring together a wide range of partners, crucially including those with lived experience, to deliver on EPSRC and NIHR’s shared ambition to invest in research that is transforming health and healthcare, supporting healthier living in the UK.

Expanding and strengthening social care

Professor Martin Knapp, NIHR’s social care spokesperson and director of the NIHR School for Social Care Research, said:

We are committed to funding and supporting research that expands and strengthens the way that social care is provided.

We hope these studies will provide high quality evidence that will empower people to stay independent and well at home with their families and in their communities.

This new investment builds on NIHR’s already rapidly growing high quality research portfolio in this vital part of the health and care sector and demonstrates our commitment to research through collaborating with other public funders.

Further information

Funded projects

Intelligent sensing to promote self-management of posture and mobility in community dwelling individuals

Led by Professor Peter Worsley, University of Southampton

Healthcare wearables for independent living

Led by Professor David Clifton, University of Oxford

Design for healthy ageing: a smart system to decrease loneliness for older people (DELONELINESS)

Led by Professor Wei Liu, King’s College London and Professor Yu Shi, University of Chester

PROTECT: Predictive approaches in managing long-term conditions: from remote monitoring data to digital biomarkers

Led by Professor Payam Barnaghi, Imperial College London

Home heat health (HHH): Sleep in the city

Led by Professor Kevin Lomas, Loughborough University

Facilitating health and wellbeing by developing systems for early recognition of urinary tract infections

Led by Professor Kia Nazarpour, University of Edinburgh

Incidental interaction: novel technology to support elders-as-athletes through augmenting everyday interactions

Led by Professor MC Schraefel at University of Southampton

I’m active: intelligent multimodal assessment and coaching through identification of vulnerabilities in older people

Led by Professor Alessandro Di Nuovo, Sheffield Hallam University

Digital PhysioOT: a home digital physio and occupational therapy technology for reversing frailty and keeping people moving

Led by Professor Helen Dawes, University of Exeter

Engaging users in smell self-care at home

Led by Professor Marianna Obrist, UCL

Smart sensors for a wearable-free and contactless virtual ward at home

Led by Professor Khalid Rajab, Queen Mary University of London

Transforming Parkinson’s disease clinical management with integrated digital health technologies

Led by Professor Marloes Peeters, Newcastle University

Multifunctional flooring: design for independent living

Led by Professor Iman Mohagheghian, University of Surrey

Using high temporal resolution sensor data to support independent living

Led by Professor Markus Mueller, University of Exeter

Top image:  Credit: kate_sept2004, E+ via Getty Images

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