Case studies

Our collaboration projects between the public sector, industry and academia bring a real impact to Scotland.


FITsense: Harnessing data to predict and prevent dangerous falls

The FIT Home initiative is pioneered by the Albyn Housing Society, in partnership with Carbon Dynamic (a manufacturer of sustainable, modular homes) and NHS Highland. FIT Home aims to develop housing solutions to enable people to live independently for longer – supporting them to make their own choices, providing a secure environment for them to live in and focusing on maintaining their wellness for as long as possible.

Examples of FIT Home features include flexible walls and spaces for storing additional medical equipment, to allow residents to be treated at home instead of in hospital.

Technical – the FITsense system:

The homes also include state-of-the-art assistive technology, including various levels of ambient sensor equipment that captures data as the residents move around their homes. The so-called FITsense system within the Fit Home, will collect data from the sensors and learn activities and behaviours from the sensor data, specifically focusing on those that are pre-cursors to falls. Essentially, FITsense fall prediction will enable alerts that allow intervention so that falls may be prevented.

Moreover, the FITsense project aims to reduce pressure on public services and resources, by predicting, and therefore preventing injury. As injury from falls costs NHS Scotland £471 million a year, the wider economic benefits of the scheme could alleviate pressure on health and social care services, whilst also empowering residents, care providers, social landlords and a range of health professionals.

Project Detail:

The Data Lab provided funding to involve Robert Gordon University in the FITsense project. Professor Susan Craw and her team of three used their expertise in Artificial Intelligence (AI) to use specialist sensors and recognise residents’ activity from the data collected. From this, they determined patterns of activity (including movement and everyday living) and, specifically, changes in these patterns that are likely to lead to dangerous falls.

As individual trial Fit Homes are completed and residents move into the properties from April 2018, data will be collected over a minimum of six months, creating a database for data scientists to analyse to determine common precursors to falls.

The FIT Home technology, including the Fitsense project, has the scope to be retrofitted into any home. The long term plan is to open the technology to commercial availability within a social business to support the world’s increasingly ageing population.

The FIT Home project combines expertise from the public, private and third sectors to ensure those at risk and living alone decrease their likelihood of injury. This thereby reduces the pressure on medical services. The Data Lab’s support, both in terms of funding and the connection with Robert Gordon University has been invaluable. The data retrieved forms a crucial component of the project. Our long-term goal is for the FIT Home project to become a social business enabling us to reinvest in communities and services wherever in the world Fit Home is used.

Lucy Fraser, Head of Innovation at Albyn Housing Society


We were introduced to the FIT Home project by The Data Lab. In the initial stages of the project we used our expertise to advise the FIT Home team as to the sort of data we would need to collect and the type of sensors required to capture this information. We look forward to working further with both FIT Home and The Data Lab as the project continues to progress, and we are able to collect, analyse and utilise the data to reduce the risk of injury in homes.

Robert Gordon University’s Professor Susan Craw, Principal Investigator for the project