Smart Sensors

With Baby Boomers growing older, nursing homes, assisted living facilities and retirement communities are racing to find ways to manage the increase they’re already seeing. To keep up with the growing number of residents, some nursing homes, like Spring Hills Somerset in New Jersey, have installed ‘smart sensors.’ These so called ‘smart sensors’ are really a complex system of motion sensors and detectors. At Spring Hills, they’ve been placed under beds, in the rooms and in the showers in an effort to help nurses and the facility monitor the activity of its dementia patients.

The data is sent to the nurses at the facility, and a red dot is placed by the names of those whose daily activities have changed. This system alerted the nurses in the facility that a normally active patient was lying in bed most of the day. She was developing pneumonia. Since the nurses were alerted to her behavior change, they monitored her more closely and were able to treat the pneumonia while it was still early.

Given its success, this technology may seem like a boon, especially considering the influx of patients facilities are expected to get in the next twenty years. But nursing home funding has been cut nationwide, leaving a gap between the demand for those services and the amount of funding available to keep facilities operating. With the number of potential residents increasing and the amount of funding decreasing, this technology, which could be potentially lifesaving, is reserved for those facilities lucky enough to receive federal and private grants.

See article at Valley News.

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