Texas Developer Sees Competitive Edge in Super High-Tech Community

With the ambition of being the most technologically advanced senior living community in Texas, one assisted living facility has taken tech adoption to the nines as it readies for its grand opening next month.

From more commonplace technologies such as electronic medical records and nurse-call systems, to complimentary Android tablets and smart devices that remember and track individual resident data, The Legacy at Falcon Point in Katy, Texas, aims to provide a more comprehensive suite of tech solutions than its competitors in the Lone Star State and beyond.

The technologies are part of what PinPoint Commercial, the developer of the 164-bed Falcon Point, dubs a “second generation building,” says Charles Turner, principal at PinPoint.

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“Our strategy is based on the idea of connected, active and purposeful living,” Turner told SHN. “The Legacy at Falcon Point is the culmination of several years of research, trial and error.”

Integrated monitoring

At the heart of the community’s tech capabilities is the Next Generation Electronic Health Record (EHR) platform from LG CNS, the subsidiary of the Seoul, Korea-based multinational consumer electronics company. The EHR system serves as a hub that collects and integrates the various technologies onto a single platform.

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“The backbone of everything we’re doing at Falcon Point is LG’s electronic medical records,” Turner says.

Feeding into the LG CNS system are a point of care solution (POCS) and Next Generation Nurse Call, both technologies aimed at driving efficiencies among community staff and their caring for residents.

Eliminating the need for antiquated pagers, the POCS provides a hand-held mobile device that delivers real-time documentation, communication and accountability for hands-on caregivers.

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With the nurse call, the Falcon Point system will not only respond to alerts initiated by the resident, but will also allow community staff to locate a resident throughout the campus at any given point in time.

The Legacy at Falcon Point will also feature additional 24/7 monitoring systems, which PinPoint says takes motion sensors to a new level by recording the daily activity of residents, “learning” behavior patterns and alerting caregivers to potentially urgent situations or changes in health status.

“We’re going to show you definitely how we’re taking care of mom,” Turner says.

Staying connected

Residents can also show what’s going on at the community themselves through a collaboration with Breezie, a U.K.-based company that will provide each Falcon Point resident with a senior-friendly tablet computer, enabling them to connect with friends and family via video chat, messaging and photo sharing.

Breezie takes a Samsung Galaxy Tab3 and tailors the operating system to one that’s less cluttered and complex for a non-tech savvy user. Three big buttons found on the device enable users to access their contacts, an app store and a “Scrapbook” application that essentially stips content from social media to allow residents to remain in touch with family and friends.

When residents move into Falcon Point, they will be issued a Breezie tablet and given a Facebook account that is linked to family members and other key people in the individual’s life, so every time they log on they will receive a news feed tailored specifically for them, Turner says.

“Purposeful living means making sure seniors can still contribute to the outside world, whether it’s via Skype, social media, news or participating in various charities,” says.

Weight-less fitness

For lower acuity residents who want to maintain their active lifestyles, Falcon Point issues Garmin Vivofits. Comparable to their Fitbit counterparts, Garmin’s Vivofit wristbands track key metrics of healthy living including, but not limited to calorie information, step patterns, sleep monitoring and heart rate.

Interacting with the LG system, the “hard data” tracked by the Vivofits supplements the community’s suite of health monitoring solutions by providing staff with daily updates on residents’ activity levels, as well as helping indicate potential insomnia issues, Turner says.

Falcon Point’s fitness area includes several notable features, including the latest in senior-centric exercise machines from HUR, a Finnish manufacturer. With several U.S. branches, HUR’s fitness machines are based on air compression, doing away with traditional exercise equipment that involves weights and plates.

The company’s Smart Card product offers a personalized workout that allows operators or fitness instructors to monitor users’ progress and visit frequency. HUR’s machines adjust to the appropriate weight based on an individual’s personal information tracked on the Smart Card.

Once a user places the card into a HUR machine, the resistance level and number of repetitions are set automatically based on a person’s last visit to the equipment. Users can also see how they performed during their last session, as the machine relays information like weigh level, reps and number of sets completed.

When a target level has been achieved, the machine’s software updates the program and lets users know their progression and ongoing results.

“If a resident isn’t in a walker, let’s keep them out of one and keep them strong—let’s help them maintain their strength as long as we can,” he says.

Investing in the next big thing

Implementing new technologies is at the core of PinPoint’s strategy, as well as Thrive Senior Living, the operator of The Legacy at Falcon Point.

“We foster a culture of innovation. We love to try new things and push our teams to figure out how to implement the next great idea,” said Thrive President Tod Petty in a statement. “If it doesn’t work, we rip it out and look for something better.”

One of the latest collaborations between Atlanta-based Thrive, PinPoint and LG CNS, Falcon Point aims to set a new standard in the way senior care is delivered through the use of technology.

In all, the costs to comprehensively outfit The Legacy at Falcon Point with the various technologies ran PinPoint between $200,000 to $300,000, according to Turner’s estimations. The first thing a community needs, however, is a robust Wi-Fi system to accommodate the technologies it plans to provide.

While many senior living providers have balked at the idea of widespread technology adoption at their communities—mostly out of fears of implementing certain technologies that may become obsolete in a year or several years time—

“We’re always looking for the next best thing, and that means we’re putting dollars behind it,” Turner says. “Some technology will become obsolete, but we’re always reserving capital for that next best thing. As long as we’re leading-edge, we will have a competitive advantage.”

Written by Jason Oliva

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