WiFi Monitoring – Wellness Checks for Caregivers

Most elderly adults wish to continue aging in place in their own homes for as long as possible.  But adult children, especially those who live at a distance, worry about seniors having a fall or experiencing another health emergency and not getting the help they need quickly.  Although medical call alert systems have improved greatly in recent years, it can be difficult to ensure older adults are consistently wearing the devices that can get them medical assistance in a crisis.  A new home and wellness system that works with your home’s WiFi offers unobtrusive motion monitoring to check on seniors and people with special needs without the need for cameras or a wearable device. 

Cognitive Systems Corp, based in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, uses a home’s existing WiFi to control smart home devices and with an additional software update, can monitor wellness movement of residents without infringing on privacy.   Wellness monitoring can track unusual activity and sleep patterns and provide preventative health data.  For example, if an elderly loved one has remained in bed unusually late in the morning, an alert can be sent to a loved one so they can follow up with an in-person visit. 

Cognitive Systems is hoping to partner with Internet service providers, makers of routers, security providers and care providers to bring its WiFi Motion system to the public.  The Waterloo startup can get even the most technologically-challenged senior online with a kit that includes a small router and three smart electrical plugs for the kitchen, bedroom, and living room.  By downloading the Caregiver Aware app, the caregiver can then quickly see all movement in the house. 

Because the number of people over the age of 80 is expected to triple by 2050, creating innovative solutions to care for older adults proactively is in high demand.  Using “gentle” monitoring can help catch health issues before they become serious; changes in sleep patterns, missed activities, or irregular routines can be signs of underlying changes in health like depression, insomnia, or dementia.  

Caregiver Aware is currently being trialled with service provider partners and new features are in development to capture behavioural patterns based on natural motion AI(Artificial Intelligence), helping to improve the system and enable customized notifications.  Stay tuned for details of a full-scale launch in the coming months.