Technology

The smart socks are used as an aid to assist care staff to provide psychological or physical assistance at an earlier stage than they may otherwise be able to. People who spend time in their own room in a care home are not visible to care staff who may not be able to pick up on heightened distress or agitation until it becomes verbalised and has significantly decreased wellbeing.

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Benefits

An alert from the smart socks that a person’s anxiety or stress levels were raised would allow for a more-timely intervention by the care team. A timelier intervention is likely to increase the wellbeing of the person wearing the socks and decrease the impact that increased anxiety, or agitation has on staff and other people in the environment.

Used by people with dementia, autism spectrum disorders, and some learning disabilities, the smart socks can improve quality of life, reduce agitation, decrease burden on families and carers, and save costs for health and social care.

How it works

Milbotix app

The Milbotix app is installed on a smartphone. Scanning the QR code on the socks effortlessly connects them to the Wi-Fi network.

Sensor

A sensor embedded in one of the socks collects physiological data from the foot and the ankle of the person being monitored.

Data

The sensor data is transmitted wirelessly to a secure cloud platform.

Processing

Sophisticated algorithms process the sensor data, estimating the likelihood that the person wearing the socks is experiencing distress.

Alerts

The care team is alerted to distress through the Milbotix app.

Response

The care team intervenes to de-escalate the situation.

Innovations

The smart socks incorporate research innovations developed in Bristol, UK and Osaka, Japan.

Discreet embedded sensors

The smart socks collect physiological data from the foot and ankle. The sensor array uses e-textiles, and its design is informed by experimental research investigating physiological responses to pain, social anxiety, and mental workload.

AI recognition of distress

The algorithm reliably recognises activity and stress biomarkers, alerting care staff to signs of (unverbalised) distress at an earlier stage than might otherwise be possible.

Why socks?

Some people find wearables overly complex, uncomfortable, and/or stigmatising. Maintaining regular patterns of charging and use can also prove challenging. The smart socks are designed to increase acceptance and adherence. They will be machine washable with no need to recharge.