Milbotix is developing wearable technologies for use in the care of older adults and people with dementia.
Our wearable technologies are backed by several years of research undertaken at the Bristol Robotics Laboratory in partnership with a leading care provider in South West England.
Challenging or distressed behaviours like aggression and opposition to care regularly occur in care settings. These behaviours have been linked to distress, agitation and pain which are often unobserved or undertreated by care workers.
Our proprietary stress recognition algorithm uses machine learning applied to physiological data collected from wearables to facilitate the early recognition of distress. Once alerted, care workers can intervene earlier to identify and remove stressors before behavioural escalations occur.
Existing wearables are sometimes rejected by older adults. Wristband devices can be stigmatising and have a high perceived complexity, leading to reduced acceptance and increasing the risk of agitation. They are also sometimes removed which can be costly if the devices get lost or damaged.
We are developing smart socks to increase use of wearables amongst older adults. Supporting the early recognition of agitation alongside fall detection and activity monitoring, our wearable has been validated in multiple research studies and demonstrates high levels of comfort and acceptance.
The management of agitation contributes an estimated 30% towards the total costs of dementia care. By enabling timelier interventions to reduce agitated symptoms and directing care effort to where its most needed, our technologies can help to reduce the costs of care provision.
Distressed behaviours are a leading cause of caregiver burden which has been linked to a range of negative health outcomes. By targeting challenging or distressed behaviours, our technologies can reduce the burden on care workers and avert worsening physical and mental health.
Distress and agitation reduce the quality of life of people with dementia and contribute to their institutionalization. Our technologies improve quality of life and promote better wellbeing by helping care workers to reduce distress, ensure adequate activity and stimulation, and respond to falls.
Our whitepaper describes the work we are undertaking to develop a novel wearable capable of recognising the distress that precedes agitation and distressed behaviours in dementia.
Zeke has 10 years’ experience working as a software developer and previously founded an e-commerce business. He is actively involved in promoting STEM and undertook voluntary work at a care home for several years.
Zeke is completing a doctorate in robotics and autonomous systems at the Bristol Robotics Laboratory and holds an MEng in electronic and electrical engineering from Loughborough University.
The seed for Milbotix was planted when Zeke’s great grandmother, Kath, developed dementia. Although normally a calm person, she became increasingly agitated and aggressive as her dementia progressed. The episode sparked Zeke’s interest in dementia and he began a PhD developing assistive technologies with applications in care homes. Several years later, the founding team coalesced around the idea of building a company to translate human-centred design principles and bleeding-edge research into sensitively designed products that can help people like Kath, their families and carers.
Here's a snapshot of our achievements to date:
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