Sentai has launched a research partnership with eHealth Productivity and Innovation in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly (EPIC), which will be run by the University of Plymouth to explore how tech can help those caring for older people.

The European Regional Development-funded EPIC programme will road-test Sentai’s AI-driven digital care companion.

The technology is centred around daily routines. It provides conversational prompts and reminders for everything from when a person normally starts their day to when to take medication. As the day progresses, updates are sent to the user’s loved ones so that any anomalies can be investigated.

Phil Marshman, Sentai founder and chief executive, said: “Age-tech has huge potential both to support and deliver care in the UK, relieving pressure on a stretched system. As it’s designed specifically for older people, it can truly help them to remain independent in their own homes for longer.

“With our elderly population set to increase rapidly in coming years, finding ways to care for them among a shortage of care home places is paramount. We’re hoping that this study will help us to develop Sentai further and continue making a difference to both older people and their loved ones.”

Those living in Plymouth and the surrounding areas are being invited to try out a Sentai device and join the study. The research programme will help Sentai to evolve its AI and build additional support features to support older people and their carers.

EPIC is particularly keen to explore ideas that tackle the difficulties of providing care to rural locations, by making technology more accessible.

Leonie Cooper, digital health research associate, said: “Feedback from the people who will ultimately use and benefit from an innovation, is crucial to any eHealth development’s success.

“By conducting end user testing, Sentai are setting themselves up for success, making sure that their solution truly meets real-world needs.”

Also using the power of artificial intelligence, Nobi’s smart lamps are helping to keep elderly residents safe in their own homes with its AI-powered fall detection. Upgraded technology was unveiled by Nobi at CES Las Vegas, which also monitors users’ vital signs.