Belfast Telegraph

IT firm ‘HomeHug’ to keep caring eye on OAPs living alone

Dr Vicky Kell (left) of Invest NI with Joanne O’Doherty from Kinsetsu
Dr Vicky Kell (left) of Invest NI with Joanne O’Doherty from Kinsetsu

By Staff Reporter

An IT firm has developed a new product which could enable older people to live independently for longer by monitoring their surroundings.

Kinsetsu's HomeHug uses technology to capture data about the environment in a person's home, such as temperature and movement, and passes on the information to family members.

Director Joanne O'Doherty said: "Clinical research shows that the 70-plus 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.

"We knew we could use tiny sensors to create a solution to monitor the home environment and keep family members informed, providing alerts to prompt early intervention when needed."

She said the business was "passionate" about using the Internet of Things (IoT) to make a difference.

Economic development agency Invest NI has offered £243,000 towards research and development, marketing and salaries.

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The business has already taken on eight new staff, and plans to recruit another five during the year.

Invest NI director Dr Vicky Kell described the firm as "ambitious".

Belfast Telegraph