Dr Jit Seng Tan
How The Smart Switchboard is solving the Ageing Population Dilemma
“Since everything runs on electricity, the Smart Switchboard could be considered a Healthcare Hub where services and features can be added, uploaded, or collated.”
As our senior citizens increase in age, it is generally the case that their need for support and care increases, but the transition period from independence to full support is somewhat of a moving target.
It becomes challenging for families to monitor their ageing parents or relatives while managing their own professional and personal lives. In such scenarios, Ambient Assisted Living (AAL) systems can be helpful in providing a better quality of life for the elderly.
AAL Systems are designed to provide aid and support to the elderly in their daily activities while maintaining their privacy and independence. Traditionally, these systems use different sensors and devices such as motion sensors, fall detectors, and health monitors to collect data and detect anomalies. While these remain a viable option, they also come with a sense of being intrusive and may also be dependent on the cooperation of the occupant, which isn’t always reliable. AVA - The Smart Switchboard
What may appear to be somewhat of an obscure alternative, the Smart Switchboard is fast becoming the ‘Base Model’ of care in the home.
The Smart Switchboard, for all intents and purposes behaves like any other switchboard except that it can monitor detailed energy use. It then applies AI and Machine Learning (ML) to that usage and starts to build a profiles and patterns. The value of the energy consumption data, in this instance, becomes the surrogate metric for understanding how a person spends their day.
At a basic level, just knowing that someone is still active at home is enough to keep a caregiver’s mind at ease. But this is just the beginning of a much broader opportunity. The Smart Switchboard can integrate other sensors to augment the initial energy data and increase the picture of well-being, but furthermore, some boards have battery back-up and in-built WiFi that keeps the data flowing in the event of a power failure.
Other nice considerations of having a Smart Switchboard include:
An early warning feature for detecting electrical arcing which is the cause of most fires.
Detects unexpected behaviour that could be a sign of unauthorised entry.
Can be set to ensure that the cleaning company vacuumed the floors as scheduled.
Will tell you where your energy is costing you the most.
Soft Entry Services
Some aged care companies are extending their value beyond the limits of their own physical building assets by offering remote monitoring services which is a way of introducing patients into the system at lower cost and via an easier transition.
THE VALUE OF AGEING AT HOME WITH AAL
Longer at Home
Provides familiarity and comfort, reducing vulnerability to depression and anxiety.
Maintains self-sufficiency which is crucial for self-esteem and mental health.
Shares the Load
Reduces the burden on family and healthcare professionals while staying connected.