University of Glasgow smart home technology image

The University of Glasgow has received £5.5m in new funding from the UK Government for its research project, which explores the use of smart home technology to support independent living for elderly and disabled people.

This innovative Healthcare QUEST project sees the university work closely with a number of industrial partners, SMEs, charities and third sector organisations to deliver smart sensory systems for monitoring an individual’s health and wellbeing.

The £5.5m cash boost is part of a £32m funding package announced by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), part of UK Research and Innovation.

Advertisement | Continue story below

A total of six university-led projects will share the award from EPSRC’s Transformative Healthcare Technologies for 2050 funding call. Each research team will work to develop revolutionary new technological approaches to transform care and treatments in the NHS during the next 30 years.

Over the next five years, engineers, psychologists, computing scientists and physicists from the University of Glasgow’s College of Science and Engineering will collaborate with primary and secondary care clinicians from the College of Medical, Veterinary and Life Sciences and statisticians at the University of Lancaster to explore how healthcare sensors can be integrated into people’s homes.

Building on technology already in development by the researchers, Healthcare QUEST will find new ways to use quantum technologies to directly monitor health markers like blood flow, heart rate, movement and potentially even brain function in people’s own homes.

The feedback provided by the monitors will offer end-users a suite of bespoke intelligence about their wellbeing. Suggestions about lifestyle changes could help people avoid behaviours which could lead them to develop chronic disease, while others recovering from illness could have their progress monitored remotely by healthcare professionals.

Professor Jon Cooper, the University’s Wolfson Chair of Bioengineering, is the project’s principal investigator.

Prof Cooper said: “We believe that the home environment has huge potential as a place where transformational healthcare changes can occur in the future. We hope to find new ways to make the home an extension of our physical bodies, providing the kind of detailed feedback on our wellness and monitoring of health markers that we cannot do ourselves.

“The analysis of the data streams from the sensors will be validated using clinically-approved models, providing users with 24/7 medical expertise to help them keep fit and healthy.

“The data collected by the sensors might also help to predict the early stages of non-communicable diseases like heart attacks and strokes and provide invaluable new ways to track the transmission of infectious diseases.”

Healthcare QUEST follows a number of other initiatives in the continually expanding smart home technology space.

Researchers at Northumbria University are also developing and testing smart home technology solutions to support independent living. This one-year project considers how various assistive solutions – such as virtual assistants, sensors, apps and smart devices like Amazon Alexa and Google Home – can assist older people, those with mental health needs, and people with learning disabilities in different ways at home.

Furthermore, at the beginning of the year, Blackwood Homes and Care was issued a loan of £12m through the Scottish Government’s charitable bonds scheme to enable a building programme of 160 highly accessible smart homes across Scotland.

The smart ‘Blackwood House’ homes will feature a range of assistive technology including rise and fall surfaces and cupboards in the kitchens, electronic sliding doors, electric blinds and fully adjustable Pressalit systems that allow fittings to move horizontally and vertically.

https://i2.wp.com/thiis.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/Uni-of-Glasgow-smart-home-tech.jpg?fit=650%2C460&ssl=1https://i2.wp.com/thiis.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/Uni-of-Glasgow-smart-home-tech.jpg?resize=150%2C150&ssl=1Sarah SarsbyInvestments & FundingNewsroomSector NewsThird Sectorassistive technology,Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council,EPSRC,Healthcare QUEST,independent living,smart home tech,smart homes,UK Research and Innovation,UKRI,University of GlasgowThe University of Glasgow has received £5.5m in new funding from the UK Government for its research project, which explores the use of smart home technology to support independent living for elderly and disabled people.This innovative Healthcare QUEST project sees the university work closely with a number of industrial...News, views & products for mobility, access and independent living professionals