Enabling older people to live longer, healthier and more independent lives at home is the desire of many senior citizens, their relatives and healthcare professionals.
To ensure this, the market needs non-invasive, non-stigmatising solutions that respect the privacy of single baby boomers in need of care, while being cost-effective and low maintenance.
Current solutions such as home surveillance camera systems or environmental sensors raise concerns and statements such as: "I don't want Big Brother in my own home" and "I'm not that old and pathetic" and violate the dignity of older people.
Family members are missing solutions that respect the privacy of their loved ones, but also keep track of changes in activity and can inform them with a simple but efficient alert system.
Health workers need relevant data to support early detection of diseases and make diagnoses, but also to reduce their workload.
This way, the growing trend of older people staying at home could be countered.
With the CleverGuard project, we are addressing these challenges. The hardware solution is a smart meter that is centrally installed in the electricity distribution box and provides a non-stigmatising and non-intrusive detection and warning system for the activity status of an elderly person in need of care for decades without maintenance.
Thanks to the innovative Non-Intrusive Load Monitoring (NILM) technology, the senior's daily activities are detected by load changes in the power grid, as each electrical appliance can be identified by its electrical fingerprint.
The activity status can be conveniently monitored via a comprehensive system and the built-in CleverGuard notification module detects conspicuous changes in activity and alerts both the senior and relatives or caregivers.
For example, if the coffee machine and the radio are typically started up every morning between 8 and 10 a.m. and this suddenly stops happening one morning, CleverGuard detects this and can ask about it. CleverGuard recognises what type of device is involved based on the electrical fingerprint and can decide whether an intervention is necessary based on this.