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RMIT University to collaborate on sensor technology for elderly

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.