Smart meters have the potential to contribute to a transformation of health and care in Britain, according to a new report from Smart Energy GB and the UCL Energy Institute. Energising health: a review of the health and care applications of smart meter data is the most comprehensive review of the potential uses of energy data in healthcare to date. It explores the emerging trends in digital healthcare, which could be transformed by smart meter data.
The report gives examples of projects that are using energy use patterns to improve the care of people with conditions including dementia and Alzheimer’s. These include a partnership between Liverpool John Moore’s University and Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust, which is using smart meters as a non-intrusive way to monitor the daily habits of people with dementia, Parkinson’s and depression. Irregularities in those patterns of behaviour, such as failing to turn the stove on for an evening meal, or turning the kettle on in the middle of the night, can alert healthcare workers that their patient may need additional support. Trials such as this are designed to allow patients to remain independent at home for as long as possible, and help carers or healthcare workers to provide early intervention when there are any signs of deterioration or distress.
The report also looks at the opportunities for energy use data in other unexplored areas of health care. For example, the potential uses of smart meter data in large-scale public health research.
Sacha Deshmukh, Chief Executive of Smart Energy GB, said: “The rollout of smart meters means, for the first time, we will have regular and consistent energy data from almost every home in Britain. This provides endless opportunities for innovation in all areas of our lives, not least in the way we support people with health conditions.
“Innovators are increasingly recognising the central role energy data could play in improving health and care and are developing ground-breaking technologies that are reshaping the way we think about care in the home. The smart meter rollout could bring these innovations to the masses and truly transform the way we care for the most vulnerable in our society.”
Professor David Shipworth of the UCL Energy Institute said: “Digital innovation has the potential to help relieve the enormous pressure our aging population is putting on our health and care systems - and energy data has an exciting role to play in these emerging technologies. The smart meter rollout provides an exciting opportunity for diverse fields with an interest in this area – from engineering and computing to social care and public health – to come together and create projects that could make large scale improvements to our population’s health and quality of life.”
Energising health: a review of the health and care applications of smart meter data is the latest in a series of reports exploring the transformative potential role of smart meter data in diverse areas of our lives.
Notes to editors
The report is available to download here.
About Smart Energy GB
Smart Energy GB is the voice of the smart meter rollout. It’s our task to help everyone in Great Britain understand smart meters, the national rollout and how to use their new meters to get their gas and electricity under control. Our national campaign is reaching all households and microbusinesses in England, Scotland and Wales. For more information visit our website smartenergyGB.org
About smart meters and the rollout
Smart meters replace the traditional meters we currently have in our homes. They enable accurate bills, near real time information on energy use in pounds and pence, and greater control over the way we buy and use energy. The smart meter rollout is an essential technology upgrade, unprecedented in its scale, to improve Great Britain’s energy infrastructure.
Almost 6 million smart meters have already been installed in homes and microbusinesses, and between now and 2020 every household in England, Scotland and Wales will be offered one at no additional cost. Contact your energy supplier today about installing your smart meter.
Smart Energy GB media contacts
For more information including interview requests, case studies of smart meter users, infographics, photography and video content please contact the Smart Energy GB media team:
Smart Energy GB:
Janqui Mehta: [email protected]; 0203 019 1063/07715 665 112