Sofihub is a digital assistant that uses artificial intelligence and sensor technology to support and assist older adults or people with disabilities to live independently in their own homes.

IT comprises a central hub that communicates with sensors around the home and, over cellular, so Sofihub’s AWS hosted software.

Sofihub observes and learns normal behaviour in the home, then identifies abnormal behaviour and raise alerts. It is also a personal home assistant delivering greetings, medication reminders and hydration alerts.

Sofihub uses sensors to identify the location of a resident in their home, provide carers and family members with insights into the person’s daily routine and to raise a notification when expected activity does not occur.

“Each morning Sofihub will greet you and tell you useful information such as the day, date, weather and events such as birthdays and appointments,” the company’s web site says.

The product currently will identify lateness in going to bed, or waking up and lengthy stays in the bathroom, but the company is planning to add a range of user definable parameters.

Sofihub also produces three types of messages for the resident: messages that play at the specified times even if the resident is not home such as medication reminders, played unless the medicine cabinet has been accessed within an hour of the scheduled time.

All Sofihub software was originally developed by Deakin University’s Software Innovation Labs. City of Greater Geelong Aged Care Services has supported Sofihub with aged care expertise and with trials. It also recruited trial participants and was Sofihub’s original trial partners.

The Victorian Transport Accident Commission has also been a long-term supporter, running trials specific to the disability sector. Trials on users with acquired brain injury have shown an increase of approximately 25 percent in their completion of daily tasks.

Further trials are planned and Sofihub says: “Anecdotally we believe the economic benefits are:

  • Reduction of loneliness – believed to reduce depression
  • Improved compliance with medication – one of the top three reasons for visits to emergency
  • Improved hydration – complications resulting from dehydration also one of the top three reasons for seniors going to emergency
  • Notifications and reporting, from our trials we have seen evidence that care providers are able to anticipate when care levels need to be increased based on changes in behaviour. Pre-emptive action reduces the likelihood of care plan changes being precipitated a major incident.”

The Sofihub home assistant and notification system won the Best Healthcare or Sport Project at the 2018 Australian IoT Awards which was held at the IoT Festival on 4 June in Melbourne.