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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: TS/H000038/1
Title: User centred Independent Living: the freedom to roam
Principal Investigator: Briggs, Professor P
Other Investigators:
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Department: Fac of Health and Life Sciences
Organisation: Northumbria, University of
Scheme: Technology Programme
Starts: 01 October 2009 Ends: 31 January 2013 Value (£): 293,116
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Mobile Computing Networks & Distributed Systems
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
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Panel History:  
Summary on Grant Application Form
Traditional models of care are facing new and unprecedented challenges as our older population grows. Our elders are living longer lives and accordingly coping with more long-term illnesses. Inevitably this places an increased and unsustainable burden on our health and social services. In addition, family members are often required to act as unprofessional carers, resulting in more stress and carer illness. Hybrid human-technology solutions can alleviate this problem, supporting independence, prevention, early intervention and management of personal health as well as participation in the community and the workforce. If we can improve individual engagement with technology and use this to access traditional services more efficiently, then we can improve the lifestyle of older adults and the management of long-term health conditions. For those suffering chronic health conditions, improved access to information and services can promote independence for patients and carers; allowing them to interact in an efficient and timely manner with health and care professionals when required.Our project aims to develop an intuitive independent living solution that harnesses existing technologies and is capable of working in the home, the community or in remote locations away from home. The solution must provide both information and advocacy and must support the safety of the user whilst protecting privacy and personal choice. Further, the solution must be modular to allow additional functionality such as safety monitoring, telecare and telehealth, social networking and transaction processing to be added.We believe our approach is truly innovative as we are looking to develop services and solutions that will be effective for the 'worried well' and 'unprofessional' carers as well as front-line agencies such as social services. We will seek solutions that are tailored to the needs and expertise of the customer and that are benefit versus technology lead. We will, therefore, work with Broadband Capital to use the ubiquitousness of the TV, but ensure that the solution(s) will also work across PCs and mobile devices, thus increasing consumer reach. To develop modular and scaleable, anytime, anyplace, anywhere solutions applicable for consumers and agencies, we have sought the commercial and technical expertise of leading technology organisations. Finally, ensuring we 'close the loop' we are utilising the expertise of partners such as Scottish Centre for Telehealth and Essentia to focus on what happens when an event trigger is activated and human intervention is required.
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