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Bin sensors could prompt GPs to check up on frail elderly, report suggests

The bins of elderly patients could be fitted with sensors prompting their GP to check up on them if they are not putting out their rubbish, a report has suggested.

Think-tank Nesta described a 2025 scenario whereby 70-year-old ‘Martin’ had not ‘put his rubbish out for two weeks in a row’ and ‘this is automatically registered on the council’s system through the sensors in his bins’, automatically generating a notification for his GP that Martin ‘might need support’.

The Government-funded report said: ‘From this his GP can make a quick phone call to check everything is ok.’

The report focused on how councils can save money by making all of their interactions with the public digital, but also digitally link services, such as in the example.

It said this had the potential to help ‘labour intensive services – such as eldercare, social care, and childcare – save costs and deliver better outcomes for service users by: intervening earlier, helping people manage their own conditions, and engaging a broader social network to provide care and support’.

If councils take up the report’s recommendations, they could save £14.7bn by 2025, the think-tank suggested.

Readers' comments (27)

  • Might as well send an automated message to the nearest social services department as much as the GP.

    Or given my bins are now collected every 3 weeks, an undertaker.

    What a stupid idea and am amazed people are paid to write such tripe.

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  • The GP is ideally placed to put the bins out. Councils can save £14.7bn by passing work to the NHS. Elderly people going on holiday have to add the binmen to the list of organisations to notify when they go on holiday. A genius idea all round.

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  • And if "Martin" doesn't answer the phone are we supposed to call the police to break in? What if he's gone on holiday? Who pays for "Martin's" new door?

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  • Nope.

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  • Ha Ha Ha

    A trash of an idea -that will be sent to the landsite and not fit for re-cycling.

    Nesta---A Think tank that is full of rubbish and in need recycling. Probably better off in an incinertor.

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  • Vinci Ho

    Seriously?
    Government funded report , think tank? How much taxpayer money did they cost every year??

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  • the moment this rubbish idea is put in action, we should all instruct our reception to redirect all these notifications to the council. they'll quickly bin it.

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  • don't recall reading anything as entertaining for weeks. honestly, are these geniuses in public employ? breathtaking

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  • Think tank/Consultant: A thief who uses your own pen to write himself a cheque for the privelege of having you tell yourself what you already knew.

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  • Dear pulse - I think you got the date wrong to publish this report, it's not due for another 17 days yet....

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