Senior Care Technology Review: OnShift, Silverchair, Tel-Tron & More

This roundup features a variety of new products and software designed to help senior care providers, whether in a home, community, or facility setting. OnShift, for example, has introduced new software that bases staff scheduling on resident acuity levels, in keeping with healthcare reform initiatives of provide a better quality of care while simultaneously saving money. Two other companies have created or updated online platforms designed to help seniors and their families stay in touch, while another website has listed five digital products that senior caregivers may find useful, and another senior care technology developer’s philanthropic division has committed to financially supporting a university’s senior living curriculum program. Lastly, one article asks: Are robots the answer to nursing home abuse and neglect? Read on for more.

1. OnShift: Acuity-Based Staffing Software

OnShift, a staff scheduling and shift management software provider to the senior housing and care industry, has introduced Staff Exact: new acuity-based staffing features adding to OnShift software’s existing capabilities.


Connecting staffing plans with resident acuity levels using the software helps providers to know exact staffing requirements down to the hour by location and position, which can help ensure high-quality resident care and also control over labor costs. 

The software eliminates guesswork by automatically calculating staffing requirements based on intensity of care needs and census. Staff Exact also allows managers to more evenly distribute complex resident cases among employees and promote consistent assignments.

“With OnShift’s Staff Exact we can keep a closer eye on our costs by identifying when our staffing needs to flex up or down based on the care and services that our residents require. Our Executive Directors and Directors of Nursing are thrilled that OnShift does all the math, eliminates guesswork, and overcomes the time and effort they used to undertake in their offline, manual processes,” said Rick Kamminga, COO of Watermark Retirement Communities, in a statement about the new software. 


“Providers must take their staffing strategies to the next level, considering the acuity of their residents and the services they require every week, every day, and every shift,” said OnShift’s CEO, Mark Woodka. “Labor is their largest expense and acuity-based staffing will not only help ensure the quality care residents deserve but also reduce costs during these challenging times.”

2. Tel-Tron: Commitment to Financially Supporting Washington State University’s Senior Living Program

Tel-Tron Technologies Corporation has joined senior living providers in supporting Washington State University’s Hospitality Management program’s senior living curriculum, with an initial commitment of at least $10,000. 

Through its philanthropy arm, The Tel-Tron Foundation, the company will use a combination of monetary and corporate resources commitments to support the university program on an on-going basis over the next five years. WSU’s School of Hospitality Business Management collaborates with several senior living providers to develop and teach a semester-long class to undergraduate juniors and seniors. 

“We’re very excited to be the first industry partner involved with such a great program that creates world-class senior living executives”, said Tel-Tron President and CEO, Brian Dawson, in a statement. “[W]e encourage other corporate players in the senior living space to also get involved and support the professionalism of senior living management.”

The Tel-Tron Foundation is granted 1% of Tel-Tron’s annual revenue to donate to senior living causes relevant to the company and its customers. Past donation recipients include the American Cancer Society and Abe’s Garden Alzheimer’s and Memory Care Center of Excellence. 

3. MedPageToday: 5 Digital Products to Help Senior Caregivers

A MedPage Today article lists five digital products that can help senior caregivers enable their loved ones to age in place.

  • HEAL iPad app, which allows nurses to mange their patient load and share notes with other nurses digitally
  • Touch-free Life Care System from BAM Labs, a sensor mat that can be placed under the mattress of any type of bed to turn it into a “smart” bed, enabling caregivers to track patients’ movements and other vitals
  • GeriJoy’s Buddy, a virtual companion for seniors that can read out news, weather, or tweets from family members
  • Insta Compounding System, developed by Patients’ & Consumers’ Pharma, which is used by healthcare professionals to convert commercial pills into custom-flavored liquid medications for patients who have difficulty swallowing pills
  • Connected for Life, from the Research Triangle Park health IT firm Family Health Network, which has developed a senior-friendly computer technology network connecting patients with caregivers, family members, and healthcare professionals for information sharing

Find out more about each product at MedPage Today.

4. From The Legal Examiner: Are Robots the Answer to Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect?

“People are fallible. And right now, one of those fallible people may be giving Grandma the wrong medication, turning a blind eye to her bedsore, or letting your senile grandfather amble around the nursing home unsupervised. We’ve all heard or read the alarming statistics about nursing home abuse and neglect. So this month, a new movie, “Robot & Frank,” prompts the question: Are robots the answer?” asks The Legal Examiner. “In the sci-fi flick, Frank’s children become concerned that he can no longer take care of himself. Rather than move him into a nursing home, his son buys him a robot.” Read more.

5. Celsya: New Cloud-Based Communication Platform for Seniors

Celsya, Inc. has launched its newly-designed website CelsyaLife, a free and secure communication platform for the 55+ population that provides seniors with a way to connect with family and friends and offers tools for a healthy and safer lifestyle. 

The site touts itself as being easily usable with an “attractive and intuitive” user interface. Features include the ability to build a social network of close friends and family; add applications such as social calendars and event planners; photo and message sharing; and health management apps. The system also includes a mobile and tablet interface designed in sync with the cloud platform. 


6. Silverchair: Upgraded User Interface for Family Platform

Silverchair Learning Systems’ for Familes, and online communications and education system for residents’ families, recently launched an upgraded version of its platform to improve users’ ability to stay in touch with their loved one’s community and get care updates.

The company used feedback from thousands of users to integrate changes meant to improve navigation and give easier access to community information and site personalizations. The updated version also includes a graphics-based course library with more than 100 courses written specifically for families by senior care experts.

Site improvements focused on evolving technology and its use in senior care. The family interface is designed to look and function on Android-based tablets or mobile devices, as well as on personal computers. 

Current Silverchair for Families clients will be transferred to the new interface in upcoming months; all new clients will start with the upgraded version. 


Mark Woodka, CEO, OnShift. “Providers must take their staffing strategies to the next level, considering the acuity of their residents and the services they require every week, every day, and every shift. Labor is their largest expense and acuity-based staffing will not only help ensure the quality care residents deserve but also reduce costs during these challenging times.”

Companies featured in this article:

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