This major NHS study, called TIHM (Technology Integrated Health Management) for dementia, aims to transform support for people with dementia and their carers.

The study's key aims are:

  • to improve the lives of people with dementia by supporting them to stay safe and well in their own homes
  • to reduce hospital and care home admissions
  • to relieve the stress on carers.

TIHM for dementia is for people with mild to moderate dementia who live at home in Surrey or North East Hampshire and who have a regular carer who is also willing to be involved. 

Smart devices which are connected via an Internet of Things (the idea of connecting any device to the internet and/or each other) are installed in a person's home. These devices allow clinicians to remotely monitor a person's health, well-being and environment round the clock and in real time. If the technology identifies a health or safety problem, clinicians are immediately notified and can step in to offer support. For example, calling the person's carer to alert them to a potential problem or, arranging for an Alzheimer's Society Dementia Navigator to visit. If the technology identifies a crisis, the emergency services will be contacted.

Most of the devices operate in the background, collecting information. For example, sensors can measure a person's movements round the home and identify if they have had a fall. Some devices, such as a GPS tracker, can be worn and will alert clinicians if a person has wandered too far from home. Others, such as weight and hydration scales and a blood pressure cuff, require a person to interact with the device. The devices are not difficult to use and both the person with dementia and the carer are shown how to use them.

TIHM for dementia is designed to work alongside the existing care a person receives and will not replace that support.

For more information, download our information leaflet.

The study is run in partnership with the Alzheimer's Society, and is being funded by the Department for Health, NHS England and Innovate UK.

NHS innovation test beds

TIHM for dementia is one of only seven NHS Innovation Test Beds, and is one of two specifically looking at creating an Internet of Things – the idea of connecting any device to the internet and/or each other via the internet.

The Test Bed programme was launched by NHS England in January 2016 as a series of different projects that aim to modernise health care to benefit older people with long-term health problems and improve the way NHS services are delivered by evaluating the impact of new technologies. It is linked to the NHS Five Year Forward View which sets out how health services need to change in order to engage with patients, carers and citizens to promote wellbeing and prevent ill-health.

Objectives

There are many objectives we hope to achieve through our TIHM for dementia research. They include:

  • To provide people with dementia more control over their health and wellbeing
  • To increase the ability of people with dementia to live independently
  • To improve the quality of life for people with dementia and their carers, through the use of technology
  • To allow people with dementia to live well in their homes for longer, reducing bed stays and care home admissions
  • To improve the responsiveness of the health and care system, and support faster professional decision making by providing support at an earlier stage
  • To decrease the amount of time people spend in hospital
  • To demonstrate how partnership working can achieve solutions to the challenges and complexities of everyday life
  • To use our learnings as a stepping stone for future research into how technology can benefit other long-term physical and mental health conditions
  • To relieve the stress on caregivers, providing them with confidence that they will be alerted if something goes wrong.

Insight report

In June 2016, over 40 people with dementia, their carers, clinicians, innovators and academics took part in a series of group discussions to explore four themes related to TIHM for dementia:

  • What people with dementia want and need from technology
  • What carers of people with dementia want and need from technology
  • How technology could support healthcare professionals to work differently
  • Inviting technology into our homes: hopes, fears and opportunities

A number of needs were identified, including:

  • Maintaining independence
  • Staying safe and well
  • Supporting daily routines
  • Protecting against vulnerability
  • Social contact
  • Safe environments

The opportunity to engage with such a variety of people who have a potential interest in this research and hear their views was invaluable. The discussions helped us with identifying needs which will inform the selection of technologies being issued.

To read the Insights report in full, download it here.

The partnership

TIHM for dementia is a unique collaborative of partners from the health, voluntary and technology sectors. Each partner offers expert guidance to specific areas of the project.

Test Bed partners

sabp-logo.jpg

Surrey and Borders Partnership NHS Foundation Trust

A leading provider of specialist mental health, drug and alcohol and learning disabilities services for people of all ages in Southern England

 

KentLogo.png

Kent Surrey Sussex Academic Health Science Network

Supports the identification, spread and adoption of innovation and best practice to improve health and contribute towards economic growth

UniS Logo.png

University of Surrey

Home of the Institute for Communications Systems – one of the largest European academic research groups in mobile communications, IoT, large scale data analysis, smart cities, networking and services

royalHollowayLogo.png

Royal Holloway University of London

Home of the Information Security Group with expertise in information security, secure protocols, computer security, security for mobile and ad hoc networks, trusted computing and infrastructure protection

AlzLogo.png

Alzheimer's Society

The UK’s leading dementia support and research charity for anyone affected by any form of dementia in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. They also fund medical and social research, and campaign for better quality of life for people with dementia and greater understanding of the condition

 

Six local clinical commissioning groups

Including North East Hampshire & Farnham who are the lead commissioner for mental health across Surrey and NE Hants and Guildford & Waverley who specialise in dementia

 

Technology Innovators

Intelesant.png

Intelesant

Whose product Howz is able to learn a dementia sufferer’s routine and detect any deviations from the routine that may lead to dangers

safePatientSystLogo.png

Safe Patient Systems

Whose mobile, ‘open’ architecture and cloud based platform delivers a holistic assisted living technology solution

senselyLogo.png

Sense.ly

Whose virtual, personal assistant Molly is capable of providing tailor made medical advice using advanced Artificial Intelligence and speech recognition

Arqiva.jpg

Vision 360 / Arqiva

Are bringing an assistive care platform for those with long-term conditions

Yecco.png

Yecco

Provide a suite of apps for self care and home monitoring by caregivers and healthcare professionals using wearables, medical devices, home sensors and a series of features for data sharing on a social media platform. Yecco social app will enable services to build social networks, directly interact with patients as well as receiving real time data for early intervention and health management

Docobo.png

Docobo

Will provide their doc@HOME Digital Health platform configured to meet the needs of  people with dementia and their carers
   

HallidayJames.jpg

Halliday James

Specialise in Cognitive Support Technology for dementia. They will offer St Bernard's Location Service for vulnerable people and EASE, a specialist location and activity monitoring device