Digital & IT

Published: April 19, 2022 | Updated: April 19, 2022

In-home sensor developed by Dorset company saves the lives of three residents in 12 months

The Doris in-home sensor is placed on a kitchen shelf without cameras or microphones and requires no mains power, internet connection or mobile phone signal.
By Andrew Diprose, editor

An in-home sensor developed and manufactured by a Dorset company in partnership with local authorities has saved the lives of three residents of a housing partnership in just the last 12 months.

Known as DORIS, the sensor, pictured right, discreetly monitors day to day activity in the homes of vulnerable people living independently

Upon detecting a decrease in typical behaviour, an automated alert is sent to an Independent Living Officer [ILO].

This allows the ILOs to make a proactive, urgent visit or phone call instead of relying on a scheduled appointment or residents making contact themselves.

Bournemouth company IoT Solutions Group, a provider of Internet of Things [IoT] technologies and services, is behind DORIS.

Founded four years ago in Christchurch, the business employs ten people with the sensors manufactured at Piddlehinton.

All three people who owe their lives to DORIS were residents of Sutton Housing Partnership in South London.

In the latest case the woman was saved by an IoT smart device in the kitchen after it alerted carers that she might need assistance.

She had been unwell and was receiving additional support when her carer was alerted to a dramatic decline in activity levels.

Following no response on the phone or at the door, her care team agreed that an urgent welfare check was needed.

Upon entering the property, they found the resident slumped in a chair, confused and unable to communicate coherently or move.

Sutton’s telecare provider, Careium, was called to provide mobile responder support until the ambulance arrived and took the resident to hospital.

The Independent Living Officer for the resident said: “If we hadn’t found her when we did, it would have been six days before the district nursing team would have been scheduled to visit.

“I hate to think what would have happened if I hadn’t got that alert when we did.”

Bradley Coupar, Smart Place Project Manager and Social Worker for Sutton Council, said: “With medical journals quoting that an estimated 80 per cent of residents who fall alone are not activating their call alarm, Sutton Council is proud to have a discreet and smart solution that doesn’t rely on user interaction to save the lives of residents who fall or become ill.

“This provides important reassurance to the resident, the social worker or carer and family members that if something does happen to them, help will be at hand.”

Hundreds of the devices have now been deployed in Sutton Housing Partnership properties in collaboration with Sutton Council.

The deployment is part of the InnOvaTe Project with the South London Partnership boroughs.

It brings together technology solutions to address challenges in the community and help people live better, healthier lives and live independently for longer.

DORIS is simply placed on a kitchen shelf without cameras or microphones and requires no mains power, internet connection or mobile phone signal.

The sensor does not make any visual or audio recordings of residents’ homes, and no personal data is collected through its real-time reporting process.

Emma Mahy, CEO and co-founder of IoT Solutions Group, pictured left, said: “Hearing that our solution has saved a life is still an emotional experience for myself and the team.

“We are glad to hear that the resident is OK and recovering well.”

IoT Solutions Group’s main clients include Biffa, NHS, 18 local authorities and Northern Rail.

Locally it has provided solutions for two challenges for BCP Council’s Smart Place project.

The company specialises in helping organisations working in the public sector, waste management, and the facilities, leisure and hospitality industries to deliver improvements to the services they provide through the use of IoT technologies.

It aims to bring positive change while keeping operational costs low.

In the last 12 months, growth at IoT Solutions Group has accelerated, with thousands of its devices now deployed in the field across adult social care and other IoT applications.

The company has offices in Bournemouth and Watford, Herts.