The Ageing Society Grand Challenge mission — specific time-bound goals to galvanise and inspire transformational action — is to ensure that people can enjoy at least five extra healthy, independent years of life by 2035, while narrowing the gap between the experience of the richest and poorest.

Through the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF), government is already investing nearly £300 million to bring together the UK’s world-class research expertise with business investment to develop technologies and industries that can help the UK prepare for the challenge of an ageing society.

As part of the funding, £98 million will support ‘healthy ageing’ by stimulating well-designed innovations that support people to enjoy active and independent lives for longer.

Already changing lives throughout the UK

One company helping to achieve this is NquiringMinds, a British company that specialises in the field of artificial intelligence and the ‘Internet of Things’.  In partnership with the University of Southampton, Southampton City Council and Hampshire County Council, NquiringMinds has developed a technical platform called CareTeam that is all about making aged care more collaborative.

A new kind of care via an app

At the centre of the CareTeam platform is an app that integrates the help from friends, family and neighbours along with the professional carers. The app allows an invited circle of trusted people to share important information such as medications and appointments in a secure platform. 

Artificial intelligence powered care

There are three primary areas where NquiringMinds applies AI to the challenge of the Ageing Society:

1) Sensor analytics

Using AI algorithms and simple sensors, such as energy monitors and infra-red movement sensors, the CareTeam system spots anomalies in a person’s behaviour and alerts their carers if there is a significant change, e.g. if they haven’t made their cup of tea at the usual time.

2) Self-learning workflow

The CareTeam system also uses analytics to gather insight on patterns in care and behaviour, which can then be used to plan future care needs. Through these insights and analytics, the platform helps to continuously monitor and improve the quality of care.

3) Social care insights

All local councils are continually generating and storing data on the cost and quality of social care provided. With the help of AI algorithms that can analyse trends, detect anomalies and predict patterns, this data can be used to better plan the provision of social care.

Similar approaches as the ones used for CareTeam could be used to transform the whole social care sector in the future.

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