Chasing Care Podcast

Chasing Care -wearable tech in care - dealing with user acceptance

Posted around 7 months ago •

On this weeks episode of the Chasing Care podcast we explore the use of new tech for the care sector and how innovation of a smart sock could be a game changer for the wearable tech industry.

Memory loss and confusion are often the first signs that a loved one has dementia – struggling to find the right words, forgetting an important appointment, or a trip to the shops that takes much longer than normal. However, behavioural changes that typically occur in the mid- stages of the disease can prove the most challenging for people providing care. Milbotix founder Zeke shares a personal story about his great-grandmother, Kath.

“Kath was a gentle and sociable person with a life-long passion for jazz music. However, several years after her dementia diagnosis, she became prone to bouts of aggression which placed tremendous strain on my family.”

Zeke spent a couple of years volunteering at a care home and came to realise that Kath was not alone in experiencing agitation. Agitated symptoms such as aggression, irritability and resistance to care are highly prevalent in care homes and a significant source of burden for care workers. Zeke embarked on a PhD in Bristol, UK to investigate whether wearable technologies and robotics could help to reduce distress and agitation. During the research, he met Milbotix co-founders Jacqui and Iveta.

Milbotix was founded to improve access to digital technologies for people with unmet needs related to a health condition. Consistent with this aim, they have pledged to donate 10% of their profits to charitable causes including research into dementia.

Dr Zeke Steer is co-founder and Chief Executive Officer at Milbotix and a Visiting Fellow at the Centre for Health & Clinical Research at the University of the West of England. He worked as a defence engineer for over 10 years developing expertise in electronics, software, and data science. Zeke’s doctoral research at the Bristol Robotics Laboratory (Bristol, UK) investigated how wearables, artificial intelligence, and robotics can support dementia carers to better manage distress and agitation.

Jacqui Arnold is co-founder and Chief Experience Officer at Milbotix. She is a Chartered Occupational Psychologist and has worked in social care for nearly 40 years, with extensive experience providing care for older people in a range of settings. She was formerly on the board for Skills for Care, and until 2021 held the role of Dementia Lead for a social care charity in Bristol, UK. In recent years, she has held both internal and external consultancy roles specialising in dementia.

Take a listen to this episode of tech wearables for the care sector and if you would like to get in touch with Milbotix go to ⁠https://www.milbotix.com⁠

or email ⁠jacqui@milbotix.com⁠

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