Smart sensor collaboration to tackle aged-care challenges


Thursday, 28 April, 2022

Smart sensor collaboration to tackle aged-care challenges

The NSW Smart Sensing Network has brought together researchers to develop sensor and data innovations to solve the challenges facing the aged-care sector.

The $5 million industry-led initiative brings together Australian small and medium businesses, including Vlepis, CARETEQ, Allambie Heights, Great Communities and Machinery Forum with two prize-winning research teams from the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) and the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT). The collaboration has received $1.48 million in funding under the latest round of the federal government’s Cooperative Research Centres Projects (CRC-P) program.

UTS Data Science Institute Executive Director Distinguished Professor Fang Chen said, “The technology will use real-life data for optimal detection and triage. It has a clear target of improving the wellbeing of at-risk Australians and reducing hospital admissions, saving lives and improving access to care in remote communities. Meanwhile, the collaboration will grow Australia’s sovereign manufacturing capability and directly addresses care providers’ compliance risk through ongoing health and wellbeing monitoring.”

NSSN Co-Director Professor Julien Epps said, “Vlepis participated in the NSSN Ageing Grand Challenge Forum last year and saw strong benefits via industry collaboration and participation. The workshops revealed a real commitment from the participants to support and solve real-world problems that affect the sector. It is great to see a company like Vlepis leverage the Network’s research capability and industry vehicles to validate the direction and application of their solutions.”

Vlepis CEO Bill Dimopoulos said, “We aim to build an integrated smart triaging platform that leverages data science and new Australian-manufactured sensing technologies to automatically identify health and wellbeing events that notify the relevant care staff. The project develops and then leverages low-cost, unobtrusive wearable sensors that will actively monitor the users’ wellbeing biomarkers such as heart rate, blood oxygenation and temperature.”

“We know from recent reports that the proportion of the Australian population aged 60 or over is projected to double by 2031 and the cost to deliver aged-care services to our ageing population is expected to grow beyond $40bn. Against a backdrop of a Royal Commission that has underlined underperformance and excessive workloads in the aged-care sector, the potential impacts for this project stretch well beyond purely financial metrics,” Dimopoulos said.

Image credit: ©stock.adobe.com/au/santiago silver

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