New technology that uses artificial intelligence and the internet of things to monitor and track the daily routine of elderly people in their home will be the subject of a $260,000 government-funded trial.

The Monitoring Data Response Solution (MDRS) system, developed by IT company Ericom, will help alert family members to anything unusual about an elderly person’s movements and enable them to remain at home for longer, Minster for Senior Australians and Aged Care Ken Wyatt said in a statement.

Ken Wyatt

He said the technology wasn’t meant to be a substitute for personal visits and community connections, but  “leading edge technology like this has great potential to improve independence and support sustainable home aged care”.

The system brings together a number of technologies including the internet of things and AI to proactively prevent incidents that might result in a visit to hospital, Ericom sales director Murat Aydemir told Community Care Review.

“It helps us find the rhythm of a customer, or their daily operating procedure around the house, and it determines a pattern.

“The solution then looks at anomalies in that person’s day-to-day activity, for example if they’re visiting the bathroom more often than usual, or they haven’t been to the fridge or accessed the tap. It also has fall detection and falls prevention ability.

“It uses AI to help elderly and frail people.”

The system will be trailed in the homes of 50 seniors between January 2019-2020 and the trial will be evaluated by the University of Wollongong.

The study was expected to be NSW-based, Aydemir said.

The funding is being made available through the federal Dementia and Aged Care Services fund, as the government seeks solutions to keep older Australia at home for longer and reduce the burden on the residential care sector.

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