Canary Care

Keeping your dearest nearest

Canary Care (not to be confused with the Canary home security monitor, nor the Water Canary water quality tester) is a home sensor network and monitoring service designed for the elderly or those with long-term care needs — people who want the freedom and independence of living alone, while giving their family and caregivers the ability to non-invasively keep tabs on their wellbeing.

Remote Home Healthcare Monitoring: Canary Care

The system uses a network of sensors placed around the house to respond to movement, light and temperature, plus a card reader by the front door that allows expected, regular visitors — like a physical therapist or meal delivery service — to check in and out. The sensors all communicate with a local hub, which has its own mobile connection so it needn’t rely on a phone line or wireless network.

A web and mobile app present all of the real-time data, which shows a simple timeline of which sensors were activated when. Family members can also set conditions for alerts, so the system can notify them of anything out of the ordinary — like if there hasn’t been activity in the bedroom in the morning, or if it’s been too long between trips to the kitchen (and therefore, presumably, between meals), or if an expected visitor failed to check in on schedule.

Canary strikes a delicate balance between privacy and surveillance. With no cameras or microphones, the intent is to preserve the resident’s privacy as much as possible while still collecting enough data about daily routines and habits to detect if anything goes wrong. Though it could be understandably unnerving to live in a house (or a world) full of sensors watching your every move, the real significance of the technology depends on the context — and in this case, the context is loving family members wanting to stay connected. In fact, Canary writes, most users “simply find it is reassuring to know that someone is keeping a discreet eye out for them and family members are reassured that everything is ok.”

A U.K. company, Canary has been highlighted by the British government’s Digital Catapult Centre and has partnered with a number of other providers of “tele-healthcare” services. Learn more in the video below.

Related: Amulyte, BeClose, SafeTSense, Uninvited Guests