Your electricity consumption says a lot about your health

“A fridge door that stays shut, a toilet flushed several times a night, an unused microwave – all provide information on a person’s lifestyle. This data can be very useful in terms of prevention (for keeping older people healthy),” explained Xavier Wagner in October 2013 in the French daily newspaper La Dépêche. The founder of Smart Risks had just moved his start-up to a conveniently located business incubator within the Bellissen retirement home, in Foix, near the French Pyrenees. For his project, he explained that “My idea was to convert information on usage or flow rates – of water, gas or electricity – into data that can be used by the medical profession.” For example, increased water or electricity consumption at night may be a symptom of Alzheimer’s disease. Unusually long periods of inactivity may indicate a fall or bout of depression.”My idea was to convert information on water or electricity use into data that can be used by the medical profession.”An image of daily activity in the homeThe plan is as simple as it is ingenious – rather than fitting the latest sensors all around the house or installing prevention services which older people often associate with stigma, why not use “the infrastructure that already exists in the residence [primarily smart water and electricity meters], which is more readily accepted by the elderly as it’s already part of their everyday life.” The home environment itself detects their state of health – water and energy consumption become biomarkers. The aim of this intervention is to detect abnormal behaviour and alert family or friends, if needed. With their carers reassured in this way, and information being relayed to the doctor between appointments, it’s easier for older people to remain in their own homes. This unobtrusive monitoring is the price people may choose to pay for continued independence.This is why Smart Risk has developed AUTONO.ME, a digital platform to help with the practicalities. The data are analyzed, compiled and compared over time to reveal any unusual consumption. According to Xavier Wagner, this could be particularly useful for social housing landlords as it would enable them to provide their tenants with “a range of monitoring services and coordination between the various stakeholders in independent living: carers, local authorities, medical and social professionals.” This gap in the market seems to have potential – some 4.5 million homes in France are social housing, in which 10 per cent of tenants are over 75 years old.To go furtherThe box that detects falls in the homeTomorrow’s retirement homesSmartRisks’ website

Source:: Your electricity consumption says a lot about your health