- Posted by Stephen Pattenden
- On April 30, 2018
- 0 Comments
On Thursday 12th April, SH&BA hosted a very successful conference that marked the completion of the Innovate UK funded CHIRON Project.
WHAT WAS THE CONFERENCE ABOUT
Caring for our ageing population is already becoming a greater load on NHS and Social Care resources than the UK can pay for. As the demographic profile of our society moves inexorably into the future, the ability of the state and its resource and the resources of the UK population will be wholly insufficient to afford the majority of people in the UK a dignified old age.
This is not just a UK problem as the number of people worldwide over 65 is expected to rise to more than 1.6 BILLION by 2050. We know there will not be enough carers to go around even if they could be paid for. The same applies to care homes, nursing homes and hospitals. There is simply not enough money or people to staff them properly and the result is paralysing the NHS, blocking beds and causing premature and unfortunate deaths. The situation is already bad and unless something is done it can only get worse.
- Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could use friendly, gentle robots in our homes that would help us and those that care for us when the caring burden becomes too great.
- Wouldn’t it be even better if our robots could take on the back breaking lifting that carers and nurses have to endure as people lose their mobility.
- Wouldn’t it be nice if the robot, when it wasn’t doing the heavy lifting, could do jobs around the home, fetch and carry and prepare meals, to allow carers to do their job of providing the human contact with their patients.
- Wouldn’t it be great if our robot could allow us to stay in the comfort of our own homes living more independently for most of the rest of our lives
- But also wouldn’t it be great if we could help with the heavy lifting in nursing homes and in hospitals. Nursing staff could nurse instead of doing the lifting and it would increase productivity.
During the past two years, the CHIRON Project spent £2 Million researching and developing solutions to this potential demographic disaster. This Conference was designed to set the scene, look at the options, show what we have achieved and examine its value to people, carers and the caring industry.
Emerging from the project:
- We know we can build a robot that can safely help people get from sitting to standing and provide a stable support as they move around a room. We have done it.
- We know we can use verbal commands to tell the robot come and help us stand and sit and also to fetch and carry stuff for us. We have done it
- We know we can use the verbal interface to tell the robot to do things and that it can remind people of necessary activities. We have done it
- We know we have a solution to helping people stay independently at home as they get older.
- Indeed, we know that we can achieve all of the ‘wish list’ above with what we have learnt and developed in the CHIRON Project.
- We also have a good estimate of what it will cost to bring to market, how much it will then save the care sector (and people themselves) and its potentially very large NPV under a number of scenarios and why it’s worth funding.
- We know that with our cost estimates there is a good case for commercial backing to take the CHIRON products forward to market.
For this conference, we invited everyone involved in care, from those working in care homes, to care charities, social care, social housing providers and of course commissioners at the NHS; everyone involved in robotic technology and AI and from Government to come and hear our project findings and join us in identifying how to take the project work forward to becoming a world class business and part of the economic solution to the issue of more and more people living longer. This conference was for everyone with an interest in the issues, realities, solutions and opportunities created by the demographics of our ageing society with the ability to save costs and increase productivity (and these could extend well beyond care into a new market demographic).
WHAT THE CONFERENCE PRESENTED
The conference was attended by 65 people and covered
- the context to the project and the current situation for care services in the UK and in particular the high proportion of informal carers.
- the work we did in the CHIRON Project and what we found around how the technology was relevant to the context.
- and lastly how the CHIRON work represents a new model for care.
10.00 Session 1. CONTEXT
Requirements for future caring (each speaker 20 minutes)
Session Chair Stephen Pattenden, Director SH&BA
- Meeting the needs of informal carers – Mrs Madeline Starr of CarersUK
- New opportunities and models of providing Health and Social Care – Phil Webster, Southend Borough Council
- The benefits of technology in a person centred care journey – Jason Lamont, Three Sisters Care
- A social model of care provision – Gabriella Spinelli – The Give and Take Care Project
11.35 Coffee and biscuits
11.50 Session 2 CHIRON
Technology innovation, why technology and caring are coming together
Session Chair Graham Worsley – Consultant to Designability Charity
- The care needs that CHIRON addresses – Dr Praminda Caleb-Solly (UWE)
- The CHIRON project what we did – Professor Nigel Harris, Designability Charity
- Where, why and how technology and caring are coming together – Dr. Richard Curry – Director, Smart Homes & Buildings Association.
14.30 Session 3 A NEW MODEL FOR CARE – SOCIAL INNOVATION
Social connectiveness and technological awareness
Session Chair Ms. Jobeda Ali – Chair of the Board of Three Sisters Care
- Technology adoption for rehabilitation – Louis Martinelli of Hobbs Rehabilitation
- New models of care in Hospitals – Janahan Tharmaratnam of PwC
- A business model for CHIRON. Creating the JUVA Business – Mrs Alexandra Leach.
- Debate on ethics issues. Robot supported care an opportunity or a threat – Dr Praminda Caleb-Solly (UWE)
PRESENTATIONS – All the presentations are available to SH&BA Members and on request to the SH&BA Secretariat
The conference showed both that the CHIRON Project has much to do and that there is a yearning market for systems that ensure people can remain at home independently as they age or are disabled. It showed that this is important to the UK as it is Globally, if we can deliver the promise of CHIRON then robotic care systems will greatly reduce the costs of care. This is a growth market and could create a new ecosystem of care for the future.
With this in mind the project carried out a Branding exercise and developed the JUVA brand.
Expect to hear more about a JUVA ecosystem
SH&BA Panel Meetings
This conference was the first of several SH&BA events and Panel Meetings. Future scheduled meetings are:
- Retailers and Manufacturers Panel on the 28th June which will look at how AI is impinging on the smart systems in smart homes and how manufacturers and retailers can focus on and use AI to build the market.
- A new Technology panel that will look under the bonnet of the Smart Home; at energy, communications, smart home management and how and where personal assistants fit into the mix. This Panel will meet on 19th July and concentrate on Energy in the Smart Home
- The Health and Wellbeing Panel will meet again in September to pick up on where the CHIRON Care conference left off and look particularly at how the smart home can be built (or retrofitted) to become a smart caring home, perhaps with JUVA.
- A SH&BA Smart Home Conference expected in November 2018.
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