Updated: Apr 10, 2022
SINGAPORE - A pilot integrated aged care facility with video-based technology to monitor elderly residents in a non-invasive manner has opened in Kebun Baru. The Integrated Dementia Assisted Living (Ideal) facility, which began operations on Monday (March 1) in a Housing Board unit, caters to vulnerable elderly who live alone in the constituency. It currently provides free daytime care to this group. The facility has two cameras and a sound sensor that monitor the elderly, while using privacy-masking solutions to ensure their personal privacy is respected. The system also comes with artificial intelligence (AI) and sound analytics software capable of detecting falls and distress.The video feed will be monitored by volunteer caregivers from Kebun Baru Community Club and the system will trigger an alarm when a fall or distress is detected, eliminating any possible human error. The caregivers will then provide medical assistance, or notify the appropriate emergency services if necessary.The pilot trial is by video management software company Milestone Systems, AI company Senturian Solutions and the Alzheimer's Disease Association. "We have a group of very vulnerable seniors... We want to help them age successfully and independently," said Kebun Baru MP Henry Kwek at Milestone System's Integration Symposium (Mips) 2021 on Tuesday.
On the issue of privacy, Mr Benjamin Low, Milestone Systems' vice-president of Asia-Pacific, told The Straits Times that the video-based system uses silhouettes instead of actual images of persons to ensure privacy-sensitive monitoring and absolute personal data protection."This allows the system to extract only metadata from video footage that is critical in identifying elderly persons in distress, while censoring any non-essential physical and personal details," he said in an e-mail interview.
The video-based system uses silhouettes instead of actual images of persons to ensure privacy-sensitive monitoring and absolute personal data protection.
However, residents are required to complete a Personal Data Protection Act (PDPA) form to allow hospitals to release relevant medical information that will facilitate care for them. The pilot is part of efforts to tackle an ageing population. The Centre for Ageing Research and Education projects that 83,000 elderly people will be living alone in Singapore by 2030.
Falls accounted for 40 per cent of injury-related deaths in Singapore in 2020, with one in three community-dwelling elderly aged 65 years and above having at least one fall within a year. Mr Kwek said he would like to see similar technology being used in other parts of Singapore to aid the elderly."We hope that this can be a pilot of how we take care of our seniors - not just in Kebun Baru but throughout Singapore," he said.