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The story behind the development of ARMED

With over 20 years’ experience of delivering results in IT operations, working in the public and private sector, and engaging with key institutional and business stakeholders, Adrian Smales discusses with us his passion and drive behind the development of ARMED.

Adrian’s journey with ARMED began as a research concept, whilst doing his PhD at Edinburgh Napier University. Whilst searching for something novel to support his area of expertise, Adrian was keen to explore more about IoT wearables, alongside health and technology. Adrian realised that it must be possible to utilise the innovation of high-end sports wearables and apply this to the needs of the elderly and vulnerable in a community.

Being very familiar with the revolving door scenario of hospital to home, with little or no support, and then being readmitted, this community problem needed addressing with technology that could support prevention. No-one was monitoring the community and Adrian sadly recognised the reoccurring problem.

How though, would he be able to link members of the community with technology, whilst also being able to access and analyse their crucial data? The solution had to be cost effective and at the same time making the best use of the best wearables on the market.

Fortunately, a request from Interface (a central hub connecting organisations and industries to all of Scotland’s universities, research institutes and colleges) was alerted to Adrian. HAS Technology was put in contact with Edinburgh Napier University in 2013 and through their work with local authorities and Independent Care Providers, HAS Technology had recorded over 500 million data points on an aging population and wished to identify further ways in which the data could be used. Due to the project’s cutting-edge nature utilising AI and predictive learning, the University’s academic team’s knowledge of how to apply new technology to societal pressure points was invaluable.

The research project soon developed into a Digital Health and Care Innovation Centre (DHI) funded development project for the initial pilot for ‘e-Frail’.

So, ARMED (Advanced Risk Modelling for Early Detection) was born from the e-Frail pilot and began its journey as a research project, proving that it could do what it was intended to do – combine pioneering predictive analytics modelling with innovative wearable technology and health and social care data.

Adrian continued working on this project through his PhD focusing on the algorithm that forecasted risk. At the beginning of 2020, Adrian joined the HAS Technology team as a Data Scientist. He works closely with the Director of ARMED to continue to scale the project and promote it within the community and health and care sector.

Adrian is continuing to be highly involved in the development of the technology and has high aspirations of its future opportunities. One of his visions is that ARMED will be able to tackle obesity with weight and activity management. This will showcase that the technology can adapt and provide new functions, with further solutions for the sector.

Weight management could be a big area for ARMED’s future, especially during the pandemic. Those who are isolating are not moving as much, and not encouraged to move as much, so this is having an impact. ARMED can monitor activity levels but also tackle the problem – in terms of calorific value against activity levels, especially important with the elderly and frail.

Adrian is also hopeful that other sectors, such as Children’s Services will be able to benefit from ARMED, as predictive analytics are incredibly useful to so many people – of any age range.

To find out more about the work of Adrian and the ARMED team, visit https://www.hastechnology.com/armed