Finalist 2023

HalleyAssist HealthWatch® - Remote Patient Monitoring

HalleyAssist Pty Ltd / La Trobe University, Centre for Technology Infusion / Northern Health, Patient Watch Program / Proactive Ageing

The HalleyAssist® HealthWatch Remote Monitoring platform is a digital platform that enables real time remote monitoring of vulnerable people.

Created with human-centred design, HalleyAssist® works for users, regardless of their technical or cognitive ability including dementia sufferers. Wireless sensors record movements, sleep, breathing and heart rates. A range of physiological monitors such as Blood Pressure and Pulse Oximeters may also be connected as clinically indicated. Patients are voice prompted for improved compliance. Data is transferred to a smart clinical dashboard, co-designed with stakeholders including expert clinicians, this interface provides immediate, triaged and actionable data to allow early healthcare interventions.

Design Brief:

Populations globally, are ageing and increasingly affected by chronic diseases. The elderly, people living with disabilities and patients with health problems, want to live more independently for longer.
They are often happier and recover faster living in their own home rather than a hospital or aged care facility, but there are significant risks if their health is not closely monitored.

Hospital healthcare and aged care are resource and labour intensive. Costs are rising and sufficient staff difficult to find. Healthcare providers are seeking "Hospital in the home" strategies to extend tertiary care into the community but enabling technology is underdeveloped.

Technology is available to perform this task but it is often designed with a focus on technology and is difficult or impossible for vulnerable people to use. Many elderly people have never had a mobile phone and fear or are confused by hi-tech systems and devices. HalleyAssist® can do better.


This project was developed by:

Design Process

Patients often suffer from chronic conditions and cognitive decline. Challenged with his ageing mother developing Alzheimer’s, our Founder and Managing Director, Andre Ferretto, sought a solution that would help and support his mother to age with dignity and live in the family home for as long as possible. Andre found there was no technological solution that would allow his mother to stay in her lifelong home and enable the family to share the increasing care needs in an effective and efficient way. So, as they say, he built it himself.

Andre put together a talented team of software and design engineers and an advisory team of recognised industry experts. The HalleyAssist® team started with a design philosophy of focusing on usability and acceptance of vulnerable people. This included development and testing of devices and especially user interface with a range of users including the elderly, people living with disability and ongoing health issues. This resulted in a design that requires no interaction from the monitored user or requirement to use any kind of interface or wearable device.

The data is delivered to an App for family and carers and a dashboard for healthcare providers and clinicians. This development was carried out in collaboration with a number of University research groups, clinicians and aged care experts. HalleyAssist® is extensively clinically trialled and we have a great focus on publishing in peer reviewed journals. To date we have 5 publications.

Design Excellence

While technology is rapidly developing to assist the elderly and people living with disability and health issues, much is designed in a way that it is functionally unusable by the target audience. It is common that elderly and vulnerable people are simply unable or unwilling to use or interact with technology through lack of technical or cognitive ability.

HalleyAssist® HealthWatch has been designed NOT to focus on technology, instead, it has been designed with usability and user acceptance as our primary goal. We have achieved this, and have high quality, published clinical and field trials to prove it.

HalleyAssist® HealthWatch provides great peace of mind for users and their families. Our clinical trials have shown that users feel protected and that help will rapidly come when needed, without them needing to be able to actively call. The all too common situation where the elderly fall at home, and remain unassisted for hours or days, is no longer possible with HalleyAssist® HealthWatch monitoring.

The aesthetics of our physical components is focused on invisibility. Hardware is small and unobtrusive and designed not to be noticed by users. Users in our trials have stated that they did not notice it at all after installation at home, and only noticed the voice prompts. They commented that they missed the voice wishing them good morning after the trial concluded.

The App has been designed with integrated push alerts so families can see that their loved ones are OK at glance and can drill down to important data when required.

The dashboard data interface has been designed with a focus triaged and actionable health data with urgent alerts pushed to case managers and clinicians. The system is also designed and tested for simple interfacing and interoperability with healthcare electronic medical records systems.

Design Innovation

Technology is often designed with a focus on 'high tech" that results in poor usability. The HalleyAssist® HealthWatch was co-created from the beginning with a range of users from diverse backgrounds, with a wide range of health issues and leading clinical and healthcare experts.

Inclusive design principles, using advanced Artificial intelligence (AI), has delivered a flexible system proven to have the highest levels of usability and functionality. Simple and fast to install, the unobtrusive design requires no interaction by users. It also functions without the need for wearables. This means that our system has been shown to have full functionality for users with disabilities, diminished cognitive ability or inability to use technology. Our monitoring and falls detection operates without wearable devices, cameras or image capture.

Users are prompted to use these devices by voice prompts. For example; "Tim, it is 10:00AM and time to measure your blood pressure". The blood pressure measurement is sent immediately to the clinician with an urgent alert if abnormal. Patient monitoring data is delivered to a dashboard to clinicians. The data is easily connected to existing clinical data management systems. Monitoring information is provided in an easy to interpret and action user interface to family, carers and clinicians in real time. Status of users can be checked by family or carers at any time with a glance via an App. Multi-user Dashboard delivers data for care organisations and hospitals. Significant health changes or urgent issues are delivered by immediate push alerts.

HalleyAssist® HealthWatch design is not about the technology. Our core advantage is in "design for usability".

Our system is:

  • unobtrusive. Patients are not required to interact with the system or use wearables.
  • fully operational for patients with any level of cognitive ability.
  • information delivered to family and interoperability with healthcare electronic medical record systems.

Design Impact

Hospitals are noisy, uncomfortable and pose dangers from infectious diseases. HalleyAssist® HealthWatch allows "Hospital in the Home" to be integrated into current healthcare systems. Patients are discharged home early, with high-level healthcare delivered to them in their own home. Artificial Intelligence enabled movement, sleep and falls monitoring is enhanced with sensors. Clinical parameters are monitored and responded to, in real time.

Significant labour savings allow organisations to do more healthcare with current staff. Health economic studies demonstrate more than 8% cost savings in labor for aged care in the home. Hospital patients can be discharged to recover better at home, reducing pressures and costs to healthcare systems.

e.g. COVID patients can remain in quarantine at home with blood oxygen partial monitoring. Clinicians are alerted to changes. Patient care is improved and infectious disease transmission reduced with the ability to rapidly respond to health changes when needed.

Design impacts:

  • Unobtrusive system - users report they are unaware of the hardware.
  • Requires no interaction or wearables.
  • Movements, behaviours, nutrition and hydration can be seen by family, carers and clinicians, in real time.
  • Family and carers have real time status information of their loved ones.
  • Urgent alerts delivered by a proactive push alert.
  • Response time for urgent events such as falls is dramatically reduced.
  • Medical staff have real health data including metrics such as sleep time and quality, hydration, toilet frequency and physiological data.
  • Delivers significant and proven economic efficiencies for healthcare providers while improving patient health outcomes.

As a real example, the Founder's mother wanted to live in her family home for as long as possible. She was the first user of HalleyAssist® HealthWatch and participated in it's development.

Despite progressing dementia, she managed to live independently in her home until her passing in January 2023.

Circular Design and Sustainability Features

The HalleyAssist® hardware is minimal, has a long lifespan and is ultimately recyclable.
The wireless connected components require no costly and resource hungry home modifications.

The portability means that systems can be quickly uninstalled if a user moves home or transitions to higher level care such as residential care or a nursing home.

The system has been designed for a long life in use and feature upgradable sensors and components to avoid wasteful all-system upgrading cycles.
System batteries and electronic components are recyclable.

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