by: Lance D Johnson
Sunday, February 10, 2019
Smart Meters have drastically changed how utility companies collect energy usage data from customers. Old-fashioned meters had to be checked manually, but they ensured privacy for the homeowner. Now Smart Meters share data on energy usage with third parties, tracking and analyzing every use of natural gas, electricity, and water within the home.
This valuable energy usage data is now being shared with governments and medical institutions to conduct medical surveillance against citizens. In the United Kingdom, Smart Meters will be used to track dementia patients’ household habits to monitor for sudden changes that indicate illness, falls, or mental decline. The National Health Services (NHS) will be in charge of the surveillance program.
Smart meters automatically send usage information in real time to the energy supplier. This data is now being used to track daily routines and monitor people’s whereabouts. In the near future, the government of the United Kingdom will know every time someone cooks dinner, uses a washing machine, or takes a shower. If an irregularity shows up in a household routine, the computer will send an alert to family members.
NHS to begin using Smart Meter data to monitor patients
The first goal is to help the growing number of dementia patients to live independently at home while being monitored by Smart Meter technology. The NHS hopes to reduce admissions to A&E and thin out overcrowded nursing homes. At least 50,000 dementia patients are admitted annually for illnesses and injuries that are preventable. As much as 70 percent of care home residents have dementia. The U.K. is home to nearly 850,000 dementia patients, a public health problem that is expected to double over the next thirty years.