The modern world is driven by data. A trend that originated in the online economy is now touching almost every industry, as enterprises embrace new opportunities to know their customers better. It’s all about providing tailored services that ensure satisfaction and repeat business. From smart homes to supermarkets, organizations that operate in the real world increasingly understand that collecting rich behavioral data is the key to better user experience and higher profitability.
It’s an approach that’s also transforming the senior care space, as leading nurse call technology providers look for the most effective ways to broaden their offerings and win greater share of a rapidly growing market. Their goal is to provide holistic monitored wellbeing that enables proactive care, supports diagnostics, and complements core functionalities such as detecting resident falls.
Breaking the fall
Fall detection remains the cornerstone of many NCS offerings. Real-time alerts that enable immediate intervention are mission-critical for all assisted living communities, nursing homes and memory care facilities. Preventing long lies and flagging up unreported “hidden” falls are essential to protecting both residents’ health and operators’ bottom lines. But the downsides of traditional technologies are well known.
Limitations of traditional alert systems
A serious fall often disorients or incapacitates a resident, leaving them unable to push a button or pull a cord. That’s why technology in nursing homes with a bell system can’t always be relied on. When it comes to wearables, many seniors resent them, forget to put them on or neglect to charge them. Cameras aren’t the answer either. Privacy-minded residents would never permit a camera in the bathroom, even though that’s where most falls happen. And without expensive computer vision applications, a CCTV-based solution requires human operators to constantly monitor a bank of screens.
On the flipside, there’s the ongoing issue of alert misuse and alarm fatigue, the second-biggest issue for caregivers. It’s been especially pronounced during the pandemic, with millions of seniors suffering from the loneliness of lockdown and more likely to misuse a nurse call system simply for human contact. With overstretched workforces and spiraling bankrolls, communities are putting more pressure on their NCS partners to deliver solutions that address this problem and enable them to improve staff utilization.
It’s clear there is an urgent need for technologies that ease the burden on carer, ensure residents’ safety, and maintain privacy.
Touchless nurse call technology
The latest advances in radio frequency sensing provide round-the-clock resident monitoring, even in darkness or steam. Because the technology does not involve cameras or optics, user privacy is maintained at all times. Unlike pendants or accelerometers, RF sensors are usually wall- or ceiling-mounted. If there’s a fall, even a minor one, caregivers are alerted automatically, enabling rapid response.
But it’s the rich behavioral data collected by radio frequency sensors that enables Nurse Call System providers to differentiate their offerings.
Delivering the richest data
While many Nurse Call System providers have integrated wearable RTLS tags over the past few years, if residents neglect to put them on, these systems simply can’t provide vital location data.
The wealth of data collected by Vayyar Care sensors, on the other hand, can be leveraged by NCS providers to build up comprehensive activity profiles of each resident, enabling senior living communities to provide proactive and preventative care.
Monitoring room presence not only allows caregivers to keep track of their residents, but also enables them to identify nocturnal roaming – or sundowning – that could be an early indicator of dementia and heightened fall risk. Conversely, residents spending longer than usual in their rooms could be experiencing reduced mobility or psychological conditions such as depression.
Because so many falls happen when residents get out of bed, Vayyar Care provides room sub-region data that enables NCS providers to notify caregivers about bed exits. It’s a highly attractive option for communities, given that floor mat alarms are notoriously unreliable and must be regularly replaced.
If a resident visits the bathroom more frequently than usual, it should be a red flag for their caregivers. It could indicate a UTI, a digestive issue or that their current course of medication needs adjusting.
Vayyar Care provides all this data and more, enabling leading NCS providers to complement their existing offerings, allowing senior living communities to identify risk and develop genuine fall prevention strategies.
Data and the future of diagnostics
Radio frequency sensing and the rich data it collects are opening up new opportunities for nurse call technology providers, enabling them to broaden their offerings and win greater market share. By integrating RF imaging, a Nurse Call System provider can exponentially expand the range of services it delivers. In addition to ensuring real-time touchless fall detection, it can leverage innovative technology to drive unprecedented product differentiation and support holistic monitored wellbeing.
Data silos are currently being broken down across multiple industries and senior care is no exception. Granular resident activity data gathered over extended periods of time will ultimately allow MDs to make more accurate diagnoses and optimize pharmaceutical and therapeutic prescriptions.
By giving doctors a complete picture of a patient’s behavior, nurse call technology providers will be able to play a pivotal role in enhancing resident health outcomes and delivering significant added value to communities.
To learn more about how Vayyar Care can enable you to leverage the richest data, click here.