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Image Credit: RMIT University

Image Credit: RMIT University

RMIT University to collaborate on sensor technology for elderly

RMIT University will be collaborating with Sleeptite to deliver new Australian-made products for the aged care and assisted living sectors.

According to the report released by RMIT University, Assistant Minister for Science, Jobs and Innovation Senator Zed Seselja announced the A$ 1.7 million Cooperative Research Centre Projects (CRC-P) grant to be awarded to Sleeptite, at the Micro Nano Research Facility of RMIT..

Sleeptite is a Melbourne-based research and advanced manufacturing company leading the development of non-invasive health care monitoring program.

RMIT researchers led by Associate Professor Madhu Bhaskaran will work to integrate their flexible, unbreakable electronics into bedding products to enable the real-time monitoring of health and sleep.

The collaboration with Sleeptite will bring together a multi-disciplinary team in sensing, micro-technology, health data analytics and bedding manufacturing.

Prof Bhaskaran said that while some technologies existed to improve monitoring, they were either too expensive for wide implementation or unreliable.

She explained that their team is developing a cost-effective way to improve the supervision and monitoring of people living in aged care and assisted living facilities, especially at night.

The new technology is designed to give nurses, carers and aged care facility managers greater insight into the health and wellbeing of patients within their care.

The technology aims to minimise night time disruption and deliver better quality of life for residents by alerting health care workers to movements or potential areas for concern.

Prof Bhaskaran is an Australian Research Council DECRA Fellow and co-leader of the Functional Materials and Microsystems Research Group at RMIT. She was thrilled that an Australian company was leading the drive to take her team’s work from the lab out into the real world.

She said that it was very special to have an Australian partner that truly understands research and is passionate about getting their home-grown technology out to the public, where it can benefit society.

The RMIT researchers will work closely with other project partners such as Hexoskin, for biometric data analytics, and Sleepeeze, for advanced manufacturing, with the aim of delivering a product that is approved for medical use within three years.

Sleeptite CEO Cameron van den Dungen said the aged care industry was entering a new era, with greater than ever demand for excellence in functionality, design and care.

He explained that Australia has the chance to become a world leader when it comes to increasing the quality of health care provided to its elderly through technology.

Technology not only supports the valuable care workers but enables them to provide greater care than they believe is possible, and at a cost that is more affordable than the assistance currently on offer, this is why Sleeptite exists.

RMIT Acting Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research and Innovation Professor Denise Cuthbert said that the funding announcement was a testament to the strong collaborative relationships between RMIT researchers and industry.

She added that at RMIT, they are strongly focused on working with industry partners to ensure that their research continues to shape the world for the better.

She considers this collaboration an exciting opportunity for their leading research in sensor technology to make a real and positive difference to the communities.

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