The elderly and carers across the world are facing an unprecedented crisis as homes become extensions of hospitals. AI RetroMate is an all-in-one solution to help the elderly and carers with their everyday lives as a way of improving the independence of the elderly. The design aims to remotely connect carers to their patients, to help reduce the cost and strain of full-time care. The solution offers a range of features to enhance the well being and security by taking advantage of cellular IOT technology as a means to keep the patient and carer connected reliably and securely.
Why entered the competition?
The competition offered the opportunity to design and develop a product which would help connect the community in isolation, leveraging modern IoT solutions. Now more than ever before, we have seen the impact communities have made to drive change and support those who need it the most in isolation. By entering the competition, I was offered the chance to help support these communities in difficult times. We have all gone through hardships in the pandemic, especially in isolation and by connecting the community, through technology, we can make an impact on people's lives for the better.
Can you briefly outline how your design helps people isolated by Covid-19 ?
The design helps to connect isolated patients to carers and loved ones remotely, whilst enhancing their wellbeing during isolation. The device aimed at the elderly helps them to manage tasks independently, whilst also keeping them safe from hazards (e.g. cold callers).
Can you explain what motivated you to come up with such a solution and take the time and effort to enter this challenge ?
The design’s motivation arose last year, after hearing about the struggles which relatives faced when taking care of my late great grandmother, who suffered from vascular dementia. From long hours to decreased mental & physical wellbeing, this led me to design a solution to help carers with their intensive jobs, whilst providing independence to the elderly. Recent implications of COVID-19 and isolation led me to turn my ideas into a design which could help connect the community in isolation.
Can you briefly explain how your solution works both in terms of features and functionality (does it use an app, is it battery powered, what are the key functional blocks) ?
The main features include remote monitoring and communication. Remote monitoring is accomplished via a wearable device, powered by Nordic technology which uses BLE (Bluetooth low energy) to stream voice and movement data. Remote communication is achieved via video, voice and text protocols, enabling seamless communication across a range of mediums. The device also has the option to help with mental wellbeing, including music which can also boost memories and wellbeing. The device is controlled remotely via an app used by the carer.
How are the above features enabled technically including any Nordic chips and wireless technologies used, battery life (if applicable), sensors employed etc.?
The device employs Nordic’s BLE (Bluetooth low energy) technology to help communicate with the device anywhere inside the house, allowing for ease of access. The design also uses cellular IoT to help communicate and send data securely to carers, ensuring privacy and reliability. Additionally, the application of AI (artificial intelligence) has been used in certain features (i.e. camera) to help optimise interactions and keep the users safe in isolation.
Is this design a brand new concept or an evolution of something you’ve worked on / developed / were developing before ?
This design is a brand-new concept, which was conceived after hearing about struggles of carers last year and has been optimised in response to the effects of COVID-19 in the care industry.
Can you give us a brief summary of your background / career and where you would like to take your career in the future if you are a student ?
I am currently a secondary student, entering Year 11 in Autumn. My passion lies in engineering and computer science, where I have been working on projects in my free time. I have been working with electronics and programming for a few years, creating a few robotics and engineering projects. My aspirations lie within engineering and in the future, I would like to help design impactful products which solve problems and enhance the wellbeing of everyday lives.