Launched: Pilot for wireless motion sensors that track elderly residents' movement at home

Mrs Josephine Teo with Madam Ng Siew Eng, who has sensors installed around her house. A motion sensor (on a stool) detects movements when she is on her bed.
Mrs Josephine Teo with Madam Ng Siew Eng, who has sensors installed around her house. A motion sensor (on a stool) detects movements when she is on her bed.ST PHOTO: ONG WEE JIN
Mrs Josephine Teo talks to Madam Ng Siew Eng, who has sensors installed around her house.
Mrs Josephine Teo talks to Madam Ng Siew Eng, who has sensors installed around her house.ST PHOTO: ONG WEE JIN
A motion sensor in the bedroom allows the detection of movement.
A motion sensor in the bedroom allows the detection of movement.ST PHOTO: ONG WEE JIN
A wireless motion sensor (top left) installed on the wall of the living room.
A wireless motion sensor (top left) installed on the wall of the living room.ST PHOTO: ONG WEE JIN
A wireless sensor in the cistern is able to detect when a user flushes the toilet.
A wireless sensor in the cistern is able to detect when a user flushes the toilet. ST PHOTO: ONG WEE JIN

SINGAPORE - In the last week or so, Madam Ng Siew Eng has been carrying around a device that lets her press a button to alert her sons if she is in any trouble.

The device attached to her house keys also connects to a remote server indicating if she is in or out of her home.

The technology is part of a recent set-up that was installed in the last one to two weeks in the 78-year-old's studio apartment at Golden Clover in Toa Payoh East.

Her unit is one of the first two studio apartments that is part of a project to test a new wireless sensor technology to improve home care for the elderly.

The six-month trial, that started earlier in November, is a collaboration between Adventist Home for the Elders and local technology startup ConnectedLife.

Madam Ng also has seven wireless sensors affixed to walls in her living room, bedroom, toilet and kitchen. These detect her movement, while another device at her bedside tracks her sleeping patterns such as snoring and breathing.

Madam Ng who moved into her apartment about a year ago and lives alone, said in Mandarin: "I was worried last time that I would pass out and nobody would know... now with this emergency button I'm very happy."

The sensors in her home, which are still being tested, can be pre-set to detect residents' typical daily movements at home.

Any unusual behaviour, like prolonged inactivity in the toilet, will trigger an alert to a family member or caregiver's mobile phone.

Ms Josephine Teo, Senior Minister of State at the Prime Minister's Office, who visited Madam Ng's home on Sunday, told reporters that beyond providing housing for the elderly, the sensor technology is part of efforts to help them live more independently.

From January next year (2017), another 10 units in Golden Clover will be part of the trial. The pilot project was launched on Sunday in conjunction with the official opening of a Senior Activity Centre by Adventist Home for the Elders located at the foot of the block.

The Adventist Active Centre @ Golden Clover, which started operating in November last year (2015) is the second such centre the voluntary welfare organisation has set up.