Digital healthcare company, Intelesant, has been successfully awarded a grant by Greater Manchester Academic Health Science Network (GM AHSN) to carry out valuable research using its home monitoring technology system, Howz, with stroke patients.
The grant, which was one of only three awarded, has been provided by GM AHSN through its Technology Innovation Challenge Award and will fund an eight-month research project between Howz and Sarah Tyson, Professor of Rehabilitation at the University of Manchester.
The aim of the research project is to test the feasibility of the Howz app as a tool to reduce social isolation and the risk of physical decline in one of the UK’s most common disabling conditions, stroke.
The research team will be looking for stroke survivors currently living alone in the Greater Manchester area to participate in this groundbreaking research project from July 2016.
Howz is a tool that analyses energy usage and data from multi-sensors, designed to be used in the home to track heat, light and movement. It is a way of non-invasively understanding a person’s daily routine and enables their care network to easily monitor and be alerted to abnormalities.
The study will test whether Howz enables stroke survivors to monitor their daily activity, as well as identify and deal with potential problems. It will also deliver further insight into the usability of the product, and recommendations for future developments, research and routes to market.
It is hoped that Howz will provide peace of mind for the user and their carer (or nominated contact person), support self-management, boost self-confidence and facilitate social connections to reduce social isolation.
Jonathan Burr, CEO of Intelesant, said: "This is a fantastic opportunity for Howz. We are looking forward to working closely with University of Manchester and the GM AHSN to deliver results which could make a significant difference to people living alone with long term conditions in the region."
“Our Technology Innovation Challenge awards are aimed at supporting early stage projects to develop innovations supported by partnerships between academia, the NHS and social care and industry that are of benefit to our citizens in Greater Manchester. Our review panel was impressed by the both by quality of the project supporting stroke patients, a priority area for us, and the partners including Intelesant’s track record of working with the NHS and Social Services in the region;” said Linda Magee, Director of Industry and Wealth at GM AHSN.
“Social isolation and physical frailty are such big problems for people with stroke, as it often limits people’s mobility, concentration and energy levels so it is difficult to get ‘out and about’ and maintain usual activities. Howz has great potential to make it easier to keep in touch with the outside world and to monitor activity, so potential problems can be spotted and dealt with earlier,” added Sarah Tyson, Professor of Rehabilitation at the University of Manchester.