Ever wanted to check that elderly relatives and friends are okay and that they are following their routine? Now you can, thanks to Howz. This smart system from the United Kingdom allows users to remotely monitor senior citizens’ use of electrical devices via sensors in their home. It’s a way of checking that everything is normal, that their home is the ideal temperature, and that their door is closed. In short, Howz provides non-intrusive monitoring to help elderly people retain their independence while also reassuring their family. And the icing on the cake is that it isn’t a luxury device but an innovation designed to make smart homes available to all.
"Winning has given us the opportunity to work with the French market."
Louise Rogerson - Physiotherapist and director of development at Howz
Louise Rogerson, who came up with the idea behind Howz, readily admits that she didn't think she would win in the ‘Smart Home’ category of the 2017 EDF Pulse Awards. In fact, she’d planned on spending her day seeing the sights of Paris! But the prize did indeed go to the young startup from Manchester. “The EDF Pulse Awards helped us to meet a lot of people and we’re really excited by this development potential”, said Jonathan Burr, Howz CEO. But their greatest reward is still hearing their first customers report that the solution has truly changed their daily lives into a safer and more relaxed experience.
8 specialists in telematics, data analysis, maths, e-health and physiotherapy
Louise is a physiotherapist and experience taught her that changes in the routine of an elderly person were often a bad sign. She was looking for an inexpensive, discreet and universal way to identify them. Jonathan had already developed traffic and travel information systems in real time based on GPS data and mobile phones. He came up with the idea of using energy to monitor the activity of the elderly.
Any recent good news?
We won the EDF Pulse Award in the United Kingdom in the Connected Home and Business Challenge category. And it was also great to hear one of our clients tell us that Howz had improved her living conditions and allowed her and her son to relax more.
What is the most unexpected thing that your startup has made you do?
We produced a “sensory obstacle course” for the elderly. We started off with two participants and by the end some twenty residents of the retirement home where we were running it had joined in.
In what way does your project revolutionise your category?
Howz is what the elderly need in a smart home: it lets them remain connected to their friends and family. The system is not a luxury item available only to a select few, it is designed to be accessible to as many people as possible.