The best inventions are often those that meet a need and improve the lives of others. The team behind Sentimoto have done that and are rapidly developing a device that will help tackle the plethora of problems associated with an ageing population.
Developed by a team at Oxford’s Institute of Biomedical Engineering, the Sentimoto device is worn by a user who can then be monitored remotely through a smartphone or desktop computer via the Internet.
One of its main applications will be to monitor the movements and even the health of an elderly person. The sensor can pick up heart rate, body temperature, physical activity, air temperature and humidity.
This information can, for example, detect if a user has left a window open for too long or can highlight lack of activity which could indicate a fall or major medical problem.
Development of Sentimoto has been rapid with the device only becoming a reality just before Christmas after a group of researchers decided to put their heads together and come up with a product that had a real world application outside the lab.
One of the team, Lisa Stroux, a DPhil student in biomedical engineering, said: “We are right at the beginning and we have our first working prototype.”
Feedback has already been positive with trials taking place with volunteers at the Oxford Wellbeing Centre.
Another application identified has been with personal trainers who can monitor individual’s progress away from the gym to ensure they are keeping to an agreed regime.
Despite being at such an early stage, Sentimoto has won the Wolfson Innovate competition run by Wolfson College which has landed them £4,000 in prize money
— cash that will be invaluable for further development and product testing.
Ms Stroux added: “Hopefully by the end of next year we could have a commercial product.”