Tag Archives: Sensors

Future Watch: Home monitoring

Future Watch: Home Monitoring

Future Watch 5: Home Monitoring

Chartered Engineer, Enterprise Architect and one-half of KnowNow, Chris Cooper discusses how technology can be used to improve patient care and provide home care monitoring.


G: If a city is starting to go down the smart cities route, and they’ve got the right vision for it, who do they need to get on board to help them with this?

C: I thought you were going to say who do they need to call and I was going to say Ghostbusters. Damn. It’s important that you do this for the people that are living and working in the city. You’re doing it for the city. Don’t forget that. It’s for the people that live, work, and play there. They are the reason you do stuff. For that reason, the first people that you need to pull through are your citizens. I would also look at doing things on a small scale because none of this is about technology. Technology is about a third of any project. Two-thirds of it are the human impact. How do you engage people?  How do you get them to use it? How do you get them to continually use it? How do you change what they used to do to what they now do?

People walking in a smart cityIf you start using technology as a key part of doing that thing, it’s going to have its own issues if that thing now fails. An example of this would be if you’re taking a train home. The train gets cancelled. You’ve still got all those people in Waterloo trying to get back down to the South Coast, so where do they go?

If you’re a Smart City and you lose that communication piece, think about the consequences of, “If it’s gone, what do I do?” You have to start thinking about resilience and a belt and braces approach – i.e. robust & resilient. Do I have a non-digital fall back? If we stop doing hands-on care in the home for example, and this is something that we are going to have to do because there simply isn’t enough care professionals to handle the amount of people that need care, with our ageing and growing senile population.

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Sensor Project on Raspberry Pi

From late August and throughout September, KnowNow Information trialled the first five prototype sensor packs, built in conjunction with our partner and using Raspberry Pi. They are designed to deliver precise real-time and historical readings of various data to our clients from any location in the UK with cellular coverage, regardless of network – provided by our partner Mobius Networks.

During the trial period, we focused on temperature sensing. All five sensor packs ran for close to 4 weeks with no interruptions. We had one here in the KnowNow office, while the other four were deployed remotely, at two controlled locations. The flow of data was great to watch, with updates coming from each device whenever a change of 0.1° Celsius was detected; 30~70 updates per day per unit. In this respect, the devices proved both reliable and consistent:

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