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Come and experience the high-tech healthcare house of the future

A woman with wearable technology on her arm

26 July 2018

With an ageing population, the UK’s healthcare system faces unprecedented challenges. SPHERE (Sensor Platform for HEalthcare in a Residential Environment) and We The Curious have partnered together to create a 21st century house that will reveal the technology behind the healthcare of the future and explain the role of pioneering local people who have shaped the research and tested the technology in their own homes.

The house, which will be launched as part of the ‘Festival of What If’ at We The Curious, will showcase the SPHERE sensor technology to the public, allowing them to interact with the different sensors and see how they work, and how the data gathered from these sensors will be used for health research. 

SPHERE, led by Professor Ian Craddock, Head of the Digital Health Engineering Research Group at the University of Bristol, has developed a unique health sensor system that can build a picture of how people live in their home.  People across the region are already taking part in SPHERE's research and testing the sensor system in their homes.

Visitors to the SPHERE house will get the opportunity to participate in an ongoing research project by acting as a SPHERE 'participant' and performing several daily activities like reading a book or sweeping. Other visitors, acting as SPHERE 'researchers', will then analyse the data and guess what daily action it is the SPHERE 'participant' is doing. This will show the work done within SPHERE on data analysis and activity recognition, which has numerous applications in healthcare.

Visitors will also be able to decide if they want their recorded sensor data to be used in the SPHERE project, offering them the opportunity to contribute their data to the project. 

The exhibit will allow visitors to experience a real, current, research project and challenge their perception of sensor technology and data capture and how it can be used for future healthcare. 

Professor Ian Craddock, Director of SPHERE-IRC based in the Faculty of Engineering, said: "SPHERE contains many advanced technologies such as sensors and Artificial Intelligence but it is also a remarkable story of many people in the region who have generously given their time and effort to help the University address big problems that we all face, such as ageing populations. 

“We are delighted to be showcasing SPHERE in one of the one of the UK's biggest interactive science centres and we look forward to welcoming visitors to the high-tech house.  We hope as many people as possible will take the opportunity to take part in a real research project during their visit.”

High-tech house, is part of the Festival Of What If at We The Curious, One Millennium Square, Anchor road, Harbourside, Bristol, BS1 5DB from 26 July to 31 August. For more information, please visit:

Further information


SPHERE (Sensor Platform for HEalthcare in a Residential Environment) is an interdisciplinary research collaboration (IRC) funded by the EPSRC and led by the University of Bristol, together with the universities of Southampton and Reading.

The project, which focuses on developing sensor systems to monitor health and wellbeing in the home, is working in partnership with Bristol City Council, IBM, Toshiba and Knowle West Media Centre (KWMC).


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