The number of older individuals is increasing all over the world with the advancements in modern medicine, and this poses a serious issue with the complexities and costs of our healthcare system today.

Older adults require more care and personalized services, but in a typical setting, the services they receive are provided by a complicated and fragmented support system. It’s not uncommon for an older, independent adult to rely on a constantly changing mix of family members, home health care providers, local hospitals, and others. This is a very stressful, insufficient and pricey combination. And most people just want to continue living comfortably in their own homes.

How do we better serve these individuals, make the system more efficient and cost effective, while offering non-intrusive monitoring? Seems impossible?

The good news is, Singapore Management University (SMU) has taken action to solve this looming crisis.

Researchers at the iCity Lab, led by professor Hwee Pink Tan, piloted an Assisted Living solution, which combines sensor-enabled homes, personalized home care, and a medicine adherence care model. By using community assistance through a caregiver network and not the healthcare system, the Assisted Living solution helps control costs significantly while still enabling the last-mile human touch.

Through the use of machine learning and data tracking, the team has been able to accurately monitor people in their homes. The most innovative part of their program is the indistinct sensors to learn specific patterns that could predict any need for outside assistance. This mode of tracking enables the elderly to live comfortably and independently while retaining a safety net – without feeling they are being overly checked.

This team has disrupted the status quo of caring for older adults. They turned something deemed expensive and inefficient into reliable and effective. The program has a lot of amazing growth opportunities for the future of our healthcare system. This is why they won the 2019 Constellation SuperNova Awards for AI and Augmented Humanity. Kudos to Singapore Management University, TCS and the entire team for making a difference in the lives of our elderly today and hopefully for us in the future.

If you have or know a team that is causing innovative disruption, then make sure you submit your nomination starting in March!