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Empowering people to keep more active with wearable technology

Supporting people to age well, remain independent and avoid hospital admissions under-pins the concept of person-centred care. The best way to keep ahead of care needs is to monitor activity and use machine learning to anticipate issues.

Supporting people to age well, remain independent and avoid hospital admissions under-pins the concept of person-centred care. The best way to keep ahead of care needs is to monitor activity and use machine learning to anticipate issues.

During the pandemic, monitoring wellbeing and signs of escalating risk from afar have become vital. Over the past year, people have led largely sedentary lives and, as a result, months of being stuck at home has led to muscle weakness and “sometimes a reduced sense of balance, increasing the risk of falls,” according to research by Age UK.

As part of its Winter Resilience Campaign, launched in October last year, Age UK looked into the effects of the pandemic on older people. Unsurprisingly, the research found that a ‘sizeable’ minority have found life over the past year incredibly tough, especially those with pre-existing health conditions.

With a focus on falls prevention (affecting 34% of over 65s), plus the ability to pick up on a number of other health indicators, our ARMED solution - including our streamlined version, ARMED in a Box - has been helping people to improve both their physical and mental health during the pandemic.

But with the continued need for reduced home visits, practitioners are still struggling to find ways to keep people motivated especially during the most recent period of lockdown, which came as a surprise to many.

Our latest update in the ARMED portal is therefore helping those in charge of a person’s care use ARMED data to measure their activity week on week, based on the exercises and routines they are setting for that person.

Practitioners are now able to upload exercise packages to the portal, allowing them to easily add or amend the individual exercise package of a client as time goes by, based on their progress while keeping track of this progress via the data provided in their record.

In East Renfrewshire, for example, recommended exercises were previously handed out on a sheet of paper which could be easily lost or damaged. It also meant it was difficult for practitioners to track progress from afar.

Since using the new features in the ARMED portal, the feedback we’ve received is that by using ARMED technology, practitioners have been able to reduce their number of home visits, given that activity and progress can be monitored remotely, something which is especially significant during the Covid crisis.

The ability to also see a number of clients from afar is also crucial in areas such as Dumfries where rurality is a challenge.

By uploading exercises to the portal, practitioners have found it also provides a wider use of ARMED, by directly linking from the wearable device to the portal itself. The need to check the portal for their weekly exercises also engenders more traction, boosting portal information, such as steps, and encouraging and motivating clients to do more today than they did yesterday.

Throughout the pandemic, we have found that the ability to empower people to look after their own wellbeing by interacting with information is providing a basis for improvement. Having their tailored plan delivered to them via the ARMED portal will hopefully also drive that positive behaviour change – all of which will be available to the practitioner.

For more information on our ARMED solution, visit https://www.hastechnology.com/armed

To register for our upcoming webinar, ‘Prevention technology: Supporting independent living’ visit https://www.hastechnology.com/webinars-armed