Integrating meaningful solutions and the importance of choosing your partner before you choose your product.
You’ve probably heard the term ‘smart technology’, but what does it really mean? Put simply, smart technology improves user experience by harnessing the power of remote and internet connectivity, automation, customisation, analytics, networking, or geotagging.
Now more than ever, aged services are looking for ways to increase customer care, safety, governance, and accountability. The challenges arising from the Royal Commission into Aged Care and the ongoing COVID-19 crisis are looming large, and smart technology is poised to provide significant solutions in this space.
Boosting remote and touchless connectivity in response to COVID-19. Strengthening the safety of our elderly, care workers, and assets. Centralising systems to increase productivity and enhance user experience. Automating alerts to streamline operational efficiencies. Developing analytics to improve accuracy and governance. Customising data parameters to create tailored care plans. The opportunities are endless.
The biggest challenge faced by decision makers is how to ensure an investment in smart technology will lead to meaningful outcomes, not least within life safety and security. These domains are frequently seen as lacking assimilation with other areas but are in fact experiencing a rapid acceleration of applications and connectivity, alongside a dizzying saturation of new products and suppliers.
There’s no doubting aged care managers now have more choice. But do they have the knowledge and experience to identify complimentary and life-enhancing solutions, or the most effective and agile providers? Do they have the resources and expertise to critically assess product limitations and avoid being locked in with inexperienced, inflexible dealers or mismatched, poorly connected systems?
This is where integration comes in. An experienced technology partner specialises in pinpointing a client’s needs, helping them to sort through this overwhelming range of options, narrowing down to a multi-faceted, integrated approach that will make a tangible difference.
Blueforce is a leading integrator of life safety, security, and connectivity solutions for aged services. Using the latest IP technology along with fibre, 4G and NBN networks, Blueforce’s brand new 24-hour monitoring centre has also tailored their New-Zealand designed monitoring platform to offer clients clever API integrations, custom live reports and audit trails, to revolutionise operations and customer care.
Smart technology is essential within high care facilities such as dementia wards, with sophisticated optical sensors, touchless access control, thermal screening, and facial recognition emerging in this space. Backed by fibre networks and overlaid with state-of-the-art behavourial analytics, these systems synchronise to identify wandering patients, resident falls, and other risks. Automated live reporting, trend analysis, and smart alerts provide filtered data, enabling staff to spend less time behind a desk and more time providing care.
Seniors living independently at home can likewise be empowered, by combining advanced PERS technology with smart sensors. An artificial intelligence platform passively learns the regular patterns of their everyday life and raises alerts to emergency monitoring services or nominated family and carers when irregularities are detected.
Staff safety is another major focus, such as in the case of a lone worker with a health condition. Acting as both a welfare check and duress system, a Bluetooth pendant connects to their mobile device, and they are prompted to press their pendant every two hours, or if in distress. GPS coordinates are automatically bundled and sent via cellular network to Blueforce’s monitoring centre, where missed welfare checks and duress alarms are escalated.
In each of these examples, warning signs are automatically picked up early, preventing health decline and the escalation of existing concerns; relationships are facilitated between residents and care providers, workers and management; and valuable data is made available for continual improvement of care and operations.
Aged services are hungry to address the challenges of the Royal Commission and the post-COVID-19 world. The next step is to adopt technologies which will genuinely benefit our elderly and the dedicated staff who support them. Choosing your partner before you choose your product will ensure this next step is in the right direction.
Sam Lofts is Sales Manager, Blueforce.
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