Wellbeing technology trial launched

ladies round a table looking at light projectionsA RESEARCH project to see how technology can boost the wellbeing of older residents has been launched in East Sussex.

The Living Lab aims to look at whether the use of digital technology can help improve the physical and mental wellbeing of elderly adults.

Putting the people who will use and benefit from the technology at the centre of the project, the Living Lab integrates new research and innovative processes into real life communities and settings.

The project was launched earlier this month at a sheltered housing facility in Peacehaven following the installation of an interactive digital games table in the residents’ lounge.

Through interactive light projections, residents can experience physical, social, and cognitive activities at the ‘Magic Table’ such as solving puzzles, playing games together and enjoying tactile challenges.

The project also includes virtual reality headsets which offer residents virtual day trips and experiences.

In addition, clients can opt to have heat sensor fall monitors installed in their apartments or try a sport Smartwatch to monitor their health.

It is hoped the technology will also help ease the pressure felt by carers, by providing talking points and encouraging interaction between clients and carers.

Mark Stainton, Director of Adult Social Care and Health at East Sussex County Council, said: “We are delighted to launch this innovative Living Lab project, and hope our residents enjoy experimenting with the technology on offer.

“The feedback gathered from the pilot scheme will enable us and our partners at the University of Brighton and NHS Sussex to learn how internet-connected devices could help improve the health of older people living locally as well as see first-hand the positive impact this technology can have on their quality of life.”

The one-year pilot project is being delivered in partnership with the county council’s Adult Social Care and Health team, NHS Sussex, and the University of Brighton.

Over the next 12 months the University of Brighton will evaluate the digital health benefits of the pilot scheme for the county council. The results of that research will help shape the authority’s adult social care services in the future as well as inform local public health commissioning decisions.