Swanage resident pioneers new 5G care monitor

A Swanage resident is one of just three people in Dorset who helped in a ground breaking trial of a new 5G monitoring system for vulnerable and disabled people.

The person who has learning difficulties, who’s not being named, was chosen for the pilot of the device which monitors daily activity and sends out an alert if there are any problems.

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5G monitor
IOTSG

The small device monitors activity in the kitchen

Device can send alert

Following the success of the initial trial, the assisted living device supplied by tech company Internet of Things Solutions Group (IoTSG) and connected via the Vodafone network, is being rolled out to a further 30 vulnerable independent people in Dorset.

The device is placed on an individual’s kitchen shelf and monitors what they are doing, sending an alert if there are any changes in daily patterns, potentially indicating a fall or illness. It means they should need far fewer care visits.

The scheme is just one of the initiatives being explored by the £8 million 5G RuralDorset project which started in March 2020. It has the backing of the government and Dorset Council.

5G monitor
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The 5G device send an alert if it detects a change to the daily routine

Controversy

The 5G RuralDorset project aims to improve communication in rural areas and explore applications for farming, social care and emergency services. But it is not without controversy with campaigners concerned about the impact on health, with a worthwhile care scheme used to make 5G seem more acceptable.

Last year, Matt Warman minister for digital infrastructure came to see the various initiatives including a 5G sea buoy at Lulworth Cove, the Ministry of Defence’s ‘Battle Lab’ workshop at the Dorset Innovation Park and the work done by coastal emergency services.

Matt Warman MP visits 5G buoy
5G RuralDorset

Government minister Matt Warman visited the 5G bouy at Lulworth Cove in 2021

Save time and money

Emma Mahy, CEO of IoTSG, praised Dorset Council for being a ‘frontrunner’ in trialling the new technology.

The device measures behaviour such as the use of a kettle, cooking and washing up. Supporters say it will enable a more targeted response for carers and emergency services, potentially saving money and time for the health and social care system.

As well as providing reassurance for friends and family, the technology could allow people to be sent home from hospital more quickly.

The scheme is part of the £8 million 5G RuralDorset project

“Another technology solution”

Dorset Council is keen to expand the pilot via GP practices to encourage widespread adoption.

Claire Collett, an occupational therapist with Dorset Council, said:

“It gives the adult social care team another technology solution option to consider when we are supporting the needs of residents who live in poor mobile phone coverage areas.”

Jill Haynes, cabinet member for corporate development and transformation for Dorset Council which leads the 5G RuralDorset project, said:

“This potentially means better support and fewer medical interventions.”

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Dorset Council hopes the scheme will provide better support and fewer medical interventions

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