Thursday, 20 June 2019 23:50

Technology underpins new disability accommodation

By
Brett Savill, CEO Quantify Technology Brett Savill, CEO Quantify Technology

A new home that is giving people with an intellectual disability a new level of accommodation and support through the use of assistive technology has opened in the Melbourne suburb of Brighton East.

The house, built by Catholic disability care provider St John of God Accord — a division of St John of God Health Care — features assistive technology developed by Internet of Things company, Quantify Technology, and other partners, and designed to give those with an intellectual disability an improved quality of life.

The ASX-listed Quantify (ASX:QFY) designed a solution based on its existing intelligent building technology to match the needs and goals of residents moving into the house.

The company’s devices allow carers to focus on delivering better care outcomes, and residents to live safer, more independent lives by enabling residents to trigger customised living experiences such as morning and night-time scenes, using easily understood sun and moon symbolled buttons.

The effectiveness of the technology and house design will be independently assessed by Deakin University to help inform future houses, with St John of God Accord committed to investing $11.6 million in a further 10 houses for people with an intellectual disability.

“We strongly support St John of God Accord’s plan to help those with a disability realise their goals and aspirations, using the NDIS,” Quantify chief executive Brett Savill said.

Savill said the company’s technology will provide lighting, blind and door control, which can be adjusted via touch, app or using voice, with Quantify’s integration with Amazon Alexa.

“At Quantify, we strive to enhance the lives of those in need. We have tailored our technology with the intention to provide residents with an opportunity to experience a greater quality of life.

“We do this by automating living experiences for common tasks, such as waking up, opening blinds or playing music, and linking these to verbal prompts and specific buttons, with simple icons, on our devices.”

Savill said Quantify’s cloud-based platform will enable a future-proof living experience.

“It will allow St John of God Accord to make changes to the way devices function over time, without the need for a specialist or electrician.

“This means, if a resident has a change in needs, the technology can adapt to suit their requirements. For example, if a resident finds their room too bright in the morning, the good morning routine can be adjusted to dim lights by 20 percent and open blinds to 60 percent, to suit their needs.

"For example, if a resident finds their room too bright in the morning, the good morning routine can be adjusted to dim lights by 20% and open blinds to 60%, to suit their needs.”

The five-bedroom home is designed to meet the high physical support needs of residents as set by the National Disability Insurance Scheme Specialist Disability accommodation design category.

Five residents, supported by the NDIS, will move into the home in the coming weeks and will receive ongoing support from St John of God Accord carers.

"The house and technology were specifically designed to match the needs of the residents and enable them to perform daily living skills with more independence and less anxiety and give them a greater sense of their own dignity,” Savill said.

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Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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