Explorer Grant (2016 funding round)

Dr Richard Whiddett
Massey University
Intelligent digital environment for wellbeing and healthcare
24 months

Lay summary

This research investigates an innovative and novel approach to the delivery of health care support to older people. This exploratory project aims to model a ‘smart social environment’ that integrates social media networking with digital devices and 'smart house' technologies to provide information about an older person’s health and wellness to their individualised health support network.

The project uses focus groups, semi-structured interviews and prototype development to determine the user requirements for a ‘smart social environment’, including the exploration of issues such as privacy and security.

The outcome of this project is potentially transformative since it explores new ways of supporting older people to remain in their homes, thus avoiding unnecessary residential care and facilitating early hospital discharge. Such changes would require health provider organisations to collaborate more fully than at present and to change the way they deliver services.

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