Graduate startup selected for NHS-Government initiative to tackle social isolation during Covid-19
- Published: Friday, 10 July 2020 11:05
- Written by Loughborough University
Loughborough University telecare startup was selected for Techforce 19 – an NHS and Government-led initiative to find digital solutions to support the vulnerable, elderly or self-isolating during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Alcuris’ Memohub® was one of 18 innovations chosen from 1,600 applications for fast-track testing to tackle the effects of social isolation.
Memohub® detects individual’s daily living patterns using wireless sensors across the home to learn what is normal, enabling it to accurately highlight when something is out of the ordinary before a situation escalates to a crisis. It is the only telecare system that combines a certified social alarm system, activity monitoring, health device integration and carer logging in a single product.
Alcuris’ founder, Alex Nash, was studying at Loughborough University when his grandfather developed dementia in 2015. He knew that the right technology could help, but it had to meet the needs of individuals, families and Local Authorities. Alex launched Alcuris at LUSEP, the University’s Science and Enterprise Park, where it now has a workforce of 15 and over £2M investment.
In February, just as the Covid-19 outbreak escalated in China, Alcuris began full scale production of Memohub® to fulfil existing orders. Moving manufacturing to Arista Electrical Systems in High Wycombe enabled Alcuris to continue production safely and deliver extra units for Techforce19 to demonstrate how Memohub® could be deployed specifically to meet Covid-19 needs.
The results are extremely promising. Carers praised in particular Memohub®’s ability to set different rules for different appliances in the home, adding “this will be the area that adds the most value as it means the user is in control given that they know the person being cared for best, in terms of behaviour and routine.”
“Covid-19 has meant that older people are at even more risk during isolation,” said Alex Nash. “Techforce-19 gave us the ideal platform for demonstrating Memohub®’s unique behavioural learning capability – the game changer that will enable telecare to be proactive instead of reactive. It detected one elderly user’s increased bathroom visits – often a sign of a urinary tract infection (UTI) which can quickly escalate into serious health complications. Automatic alerts were sent to the family and local authority which, following GP confirmation, stated they would not have known about the UTI, had it not been for Memohub®.”
Date published: 10 July 2020