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The UK is the most obese nation in Europe. Obesity, depression, stroke, falls, cardiovascular and musculoskeletal disease are some of the biggest health issues and fastest-rising categories of healthcare costs. The associated expenditure is widely regarded as unsustainable and the impact on quality of life is felt by millions of people in the UK each day With a rapidly ageing population - could technology be the answer to some of these problems?

SPHERE is developing a number of different sensors that will combine to build a picture of how we live in our homes. This information can then be used to spot issues that might indicate a medical or well-being problem.

The technology could help in the following ways:

  • Predict falls and detect strokes so that help may be summoned
  • Analyse eating behaviour - including whether people are taking prescribed medication
  • Detect periods of depression or anxiety and intervene using a computer based therapy

SPHERE will work with clinicians, engineers, designers and social care professionals as well as members of the public to develop these sensor technologies.

We want to make sure the technology is:

  • Acceptable in people's homes
  • Solves real healthcare problems in a cost effective way
  • The project generates knowledge that will change clinical practice (this will be achieved by focusing on real-world technologies that can be shown working in a large number of local homes during the life of the project).

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