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Vodafone Teams on Telehealth for SeniorsVodafone Teams on Telehealth for Seniors

In-home sensors report on seniors' well-being to caregiver remotely, allowing seniors to remain at home and independent longer.

Mitch Wagner

December 24, 2014

3 Min Read
Vodafone Teams on Telehealth for Seniors

Vodafone is teaming with an emerging telehealth vendor, Lively, to offer a network of sensors that allow older people to remain independent longer.

The Lively technology allows families and other caregivers to monitor the movements of older relatives. For example, sensors located on pill dispensers let caregivers know whether an older person is taking meds on schedule. Sensors on doors inform whether the older person is remaining active. And a sensor on the refrigerator lets on whether the older person is eating regularly. This two-minute video shows how it works.

Vodafone provides the network to connect the sensors to the Internet, to allow caregivers to view information in a web browser. But the sensors themselves don't require an Internet connection in the home, just a wireless data connection, provided by Vodafone. That's important because many seniors -- even active, independent ones -- aren't technology-savvy and don't have persistent Internet access, says Andrew Morawski, head of machine-to-machine for the Americas at Vodafone.

"It's a huge step forward to be able to put a device in their house that isn't dependent on any kind of local access," Morawski says.

The hub, a pyramid-shaped device roughly the size of a small table lamp, arrives at the senior's home preconfigured, and just has to be plugged in to a power source. The hub includes a Vodafone SIM card. Sensors located around the house provide information on the senior's well-being. The service also uses a smartwatch that seniors wear to collect and process information, reminding the wearer to take medications, counting steps with a pedometer, and giving the senior the ability to call for help with the push of a button.

Healthcare may be the killer app for the Internet of Things -- and it goes beyond just putting sensors in seniors' homes. By seeding sensors throughout a metropolitan area, healthcare providers can, for example, figure out why people in one area get sick more often than others -- pollution? chemicals? rats? (See Is Health the Killer App for the IoT?)

Learn more about the Internet of Things on Light Reading's Internet of Things channel. The Lively-Vodafone system works on Vodafone's Global Data Service Platform, its global machine-to-machine network that has 18.6 million SIM cards connected globally and which is managed by 1,300 employees. Health data travels over a secure VPN to provide access only to authorized people. Lively and Vodafone have launched the service in the US and Australia, with the UK in the pipeline, Morawski says. Vodafone's M2M network also provides connectivity for BMW connected cars, the Amazon Kindle Fire, TomTom navigation devices, and others. Related posts: Vodafone to Ride T-Mobile Back Into US Vodafone, Afrimax Team Up in Uganda Getting 4G Ready for IoT Eurobites: Vodafone Revs Up M2M Strategy Eurobites: Vodafone, NTT in M2M Pact Euronews: Vodafone Connects With Audi, VW — Mitch Wagner, Circle me on Google+ Follow me on TwitterVisit my LinkedIn profileFollow me on Facebook, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading. Got a tip about SDN or NFV? Send it to [email protected].

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About the Author(s)

Mitch Wagner

Executive Editor, Light Reading

San Diego-based Mitch Wagner is many things. As well as being "our guy" on the West Coast (of the US, not Scotland, or anywhere else with indifferent meteorological conditions), he's a husband (to his wife), dissatisfied Democrat, American (so he could be President some day), nonobservant Jew, and science fiction fan. Not necessarily in that order.

He's also one half of a special duo, along with Minnie, who is the co-habitor of the West Coast Bureau and Light Reading's primary chewer of sticks, though she is not the only one on the team who regularly munches on bark.

Wagner, whose previous positions include Editor-in-Chief at Internet Evolution and Executive Editor at InformationWeek, will be responsible for tracking and reporting on developments in Silicon Valley and other US West Coast hotspots of communications technology innovation.

Beats: Software-defined networking (SDN), network functions virtualization (NFV), IP networking, and colored foods (such as 'green rice').

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