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Hopes new technology will tackle loneliness among the elderly

Ross and John were taken by a new piece of technology that will track conversation in the hope of improving quality of life for elderly Australians at risk of loneliness.

The device, which can be worn as a brooch, monitors how often a person is speaking.

“It can never hear what you’re saying, it just knows that you’re speaking,” Leah Heiss, project lead and RMIT designer, explained.

If the level of conversation – which can be customised to suit a person’s personality – drops too low it sends an alert to family or carer.

It’s hoped that will then prompt them to make contact.

“A little nudge is sometimes all it takes,” Ms Heiss said.

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