Introducing AbiBird: world-first, Australian technology to support older Australians being trialled in Perth
Families in Moreton Bay (QLD) will be the first in the world to benefit from a new technology that has the potential to transform the lives of older people by giving their families peace of mind that they are ok.
“AbiBird” was invented in Australia to support people who want to retain their independence as they age. The AbiBird sensor contains technology that understands and tracks ‘normal’ day and night activity within a home and is paired to the smartphone of a family member or carer.
A quick glance at the AbiBird app will confirm that someone is going about their routine as usual. If activity exceeds normal routines, or motion stops for a period of time, AbiBird will immediately send an alert.
The sensor is placed on a wall or shelf and does not have a camera or microphone, allowing people to go about their daily lives without being watched or listened to, or dealing with a wearable device. AbiBird takes just a few seconds to install and families and carers have full control over how alerts are set up, configured and shared.
James Tucker, AbirBird’s General Manager said: “AbiBird is a perfect antidote to the normal worries people have about the wellbeing of their older parents. My mother is one of the 3.7 million Australians who are aged 65 and older. She is fiercely independent, has lived an incredibly active life and is perfectly happy in her own home. AbiBird’s app lets me check that mum’s up and about as usual, without being a nuisance to her. If something unusual does happen, like activity at the front door late at night, or a change in routine, it will send me an alert. It also means that when I call, mum knows I’m calling to chat rather than check up on her. The reality is that falls are a leading cause of injury for older people and most happen at home while getting in or out of bed or a chair or in the bathroom. Each year, one in three people aged 65 and over has a substantial fall, and half of people over 80 have multiple falls. When you consider that thirty per cent of people who fall need medical attention, and one in four people over 65 live alone, the risk of not being able to get help if needed is actually very high. The beauty of AbiBird’s technology is that your family’s privacy is protected, but if something does happen and they need help, they can signal AbiBird to send an alert from wherever they are in the house.”
Ahead of its international launch, AbiBird is looking for 500 families to participate in a free two-month trial. Participants must:
- have a family member who is 65 or older and lives alone or with a partner in Moreton Bay.
- have a family member(s) who lives elsewhere and is willing to download and use the app on their smartphone
- be willing to complete a short, anonymous survey after six weeks with any feedback they have
- Between 2015 and 2050, the proportion of the world’s population over 60 years will nearly double from 12% to 22%.
- By 2020, the number of people aged 60 years and older will outnumber children younger than 5 years.
- In Australia, there are approximately 3.7 million people aged 65 and over, and 25% live alone in a private dwelling.
- 32% of women (495,000) and 17% of men (223,900) aged 65+ live alone.
- Falls are a leading cause of injury-related hospital admissions in people aged 65+.
- 60% of falls occur at home (usually getting in/out of chair, bed, toilet).
- One in three people over 65 years have a substantial fall in any given year.
- Those who fall are 2-3 times more likely to fall again.
AbiBird is a small, unobtrusive device that can be placed on a wall or a shelf. It uses world-first intelligent technology and a discreet motion sensor to track ‘normal’ day and night activity that is displayed on paired Smartphones via an app. A quick glance will confirm that your loved one is going about their routine as usual. If activity exceeds normal routines, or motion stops for a set period of time, AbiBird will immediately send you an alert.
A key difference between AbiBird and alternative products is that AbiBird offers wireless, unobtrusive monitoring without the need for a wearable device or a telephone or Internet connection. AbiBird’s technology operates over the global Sigfox IoT network which allows secure, low cost, low power, high-frequency connectivity between the sensor and the app (included as part of the AbiBird service).