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Welfare, Health & Security News

  • Real-time Safety Check for Senior Citizens Living Alone in Seoul

  • Welfare, Health & Security News SMG 2614

    Seoul has been installing environmental data-collecting sensors that detect motions, temperature, humidity, and luminous intensity in the houses of vulnerable senior citizens with poor health and weak social networks. The collected data are being monitored in real time on bulletin boards of responsible institutions and via mobile phones of caseworkers.

    Real-time Safety Check for Senior Citizens Living Alone in Seoul
    IoT Device Installed IoT Device

    When no movement is detected over a certain period of time or if abnormal signs are detected in terms of temperature, humidity, or luminous intensity, the caseworker in charge immediately contacts and visits the house and takes emergency measures such as calling 119.

    IoT Device Installed in Houses of Vulnerable Elderly Citizens Real-time Data Transmission and Monitoring through Mobile App of Caseworkers + Responsible Institutions Emergency Measures in Partnership with 119 Real-time data transmission to mobile app of caseworkers + responsible institutions	Abnormal signs immediately reported to caseworkers in charge and 119

    Seoul has confirmed that IoT motion detectors can detect emergencies early and therefore are effective in preventing even worse emergencies and saving the lives of senior citizens who might faint in their houses due to health disorders or the elderly with dementia who might wander.

    Additionally, the real-time motion monitoring enables the inspection of the safety of high-risk senior citizens living alone for whom healthcare and safety checks were not easily available due to hearing disorders that made it difficult to contact them via phone or reluctance to have visitors because of living in self-seclusion or with depression.

    The data on temperature and humidity detected by IoT devices have also led to the amelioration of the housing environments of elderly living alone, such as the installation of insect-proof nets in doorways, using resources from the local community.

    ※ Records of IoT Safety/Health Check (As of December 2019)

    (Unit: Case)

    Records of IoT Safety/Health Check (As of December 2019)
    Type of Case 2018 2019 Total
    Total 659 1,423 2,082
    Subtotal 50 68 118
    Life-saving cases based on motion detection 25 40 65
    Early detection of death (prevention of lonely death) 9 13 21
    Etc. (temperature/humidity monitoring and others) 16 15 31
    Safety/health check for group with high risk of suicide (depression or self-seclusion) 609 1,355 1,964

    It is expected that this system will greatly contribute to the prevention of lonely deaths in Seoul, as there has been not a single lonely death in houses supported by the care service through the IoT devices since the project launched.

    Seoul will be expanding the distribution of the IoT devices every year, installing and supporting 12,500 devices by 2022, with the goal of resolving anxiety surrounding the possibility of lonely deaths of vulnerable senior citizens and providing each beneficiary with customized services according to their situations through the Safety/Health Care Solution for Senior Citizens Living Alone project.