Keeping up with KeepUs

Updated 25 July

Last October we profiled a UK-developed mobile app in beta called KeepUs. We said at the time that it “when installed on an older person’s or a child’s Android smartphone, (it) allows a family member to monitor that person’s both indoor and outdoor activity. Using geolocation, the family member can see that person’s visits (locations can be labeled), level of activity on any given day, alerts (being idle for too long), how much time was spent at each named location over the past two weeks and trends over two months.” For this Editor, it has the potential to supersede PERS of both the traditional and mobile types since it is free/low cost and also fits into an accepted form factor (phone) which increasingly PERS is not. It’s now well out of beta and with some “commercial care institutions” (we are following up). Founder Tom Doris is now inviting 10,000 volunteers to download a free version of the app by going to and following the instructions (see at the top ‘go ahead and install the app’ which will take you to Google Play). PDF release.

Update: A follow up with Mr Doris confirms that KeepUs has users in the US, UK, Ireland, India, Turkey, Australia and even Cambodia (!). He explains, “It works the same as you’d expect any normal app and website to work: as long as you have access, KeepUs works fine. It doesn’t need any special hardware, nor does it need any special support from the cellphone network operators.”

Your Friday ‘robot fix’

[grow_thumb image=”” thumb_width=”175″ /]EU Robotics Week last week had over 300 separate events all over the region (including Macedonia and Malta!) to popularize robotics to the general public and to stimulate education in the STEM-related fields (science, technology, engineering and math). eHealthNews picked five EU-funded projects as ‘cool’ across several assistive technologies: RoboHow (learning tasks from instructions or human example); the RADHAR intelligent wheelchair; Stiff-Flop (a surgical robot ‘arm’ modeled after an elephant trunk; ROBOFOOT (for use in footwear manufacture); and the STRANDS robot project which is being used during a challenge to patrol a populated environment. STRANDS robots (left) are designed to have cognitive/learning ability and are being tested on site, according to the article, in a care home for the elderly in Austria (assisting human carers), and in an office environment patrolled by a security firm in the UK (BBC News England 28 August). These all seem to be variations on AT themes, and we note that eHealthNews didn’t choose any clinical/telepresence ‘bots, but one wonders what happened to the MOBISERVE/Kompaï companion robot [TTA 23 Aug].