Philips Unveils Resident Safety System Certified for Assisted Living

Philips has been rolling out senior care solutions at a steady clip in recent months, as the multinational technology giant is positioning itself as a sort of “one-stop shop” to enable independent aging. Now, it has introduced the newest version of its CarePoint platform for senior living communities, becoming one of the first to offer a resident safety and wander management system that meets safety standards specifically created for assisted living and independent living centers.

CarePoint is a system to alert caregivers or other responders in the event a user needs assistance or has wandered. It involves a central monitoring system that receives input from a variety of points, including pendants worn by residents and devices installed in rooms or outdoor spaces. In addition to sending alerts, the system determines where a call originates from, so that caregivers know where they are needed. The system is currently used by some of the nation’s largest senior living providers and is installed in more than 700 locations, Philips’ Marcia Conrad-Miller, senior director of product management, home management, told Senior Housing News.

Of particular note, the new CarePoint 5.0 is UL2560 certified. In 1974, global independent safety science company UL introduced UL1069, the safety standard for nurse call systems in hospitals and acute care settings. Responding to the need for a separate standard for non-acute settings, UL in 2005 began working with various stakeholders and in September 2011 unveiled UL2560, the Standard for Safety of Emergency Call Systems for Assisted Living and Independent Living Facilities.

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Meeting this standard is becoming an industry norm—for instance, all new assisted living buildings in Tennessee already are required to have a system that meets UL2560, Conrad-Miller pointed out. Still, it is a relatively new standard and providers have been waiting on offerings that meet it. This marks the first time Philips has gone to an outside testing agency to validate against UL2560, and there currently is a backlog of Philips clients waiting to make this upgrade to CarePoint 5.0.

“It’s something people have been waiting for,” Conrad-Miller said.

As well as being UL2560 certified, the new version also complies with emergency call system requirements for assisted living set forth by the American National Standards Institution.

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Among the features that CarePoint now has to meet the standard: pendants have an LED light that indicates when a signal has been sent; the alerts go first to facility staff and then escalate to other responders if there is no action; alerts for events such as a resident fall are prioritized; data is backed up daily; and the system now is integrated with Spectralink technology so caregivers can better communicate among themselves after receiving an alert.

CarePoint now also includes AutoAlert fall detection, which can sense when a resident has fallen and send a notification even if the resident cannot physically push a button.

The latest version of CarePoint also incorporates a new type of receiver, developed and manufactured by Philips, that is meant to make it easier for the system to integrate with the company’s forthcoming senior living offerings, according to Conrad-Miller. 

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Integration is a watchword for Philips as it moves ahead with its larger strategy in the senior care space.

“One of the key things we’re looking at doing is working with senior living providers as they are moving beyond physical buidlings and expanding their offerings across the full spectrum to home- and community-based services, independent living, assisted living, skilled nursing,” said Conrad-Miller. “This will really set us up to help us help people migrate across various levels of care, and bring the same services with them.”

Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs), bundled payments for joint replacements, and similar initiatives also are putting pressure on hospitals and other types of providers to work more closely with senior living and post-acute companies, she noted. CarePoint should help in this effort by capturing data that feeds Philips’ algorithms for predicting how likely a resident is to be readmitted to the hospital, for instance.

“This is a piece of our strategy and journey to not just look at assisted living but long-term and post-acute care, and supporting them across the whole continuum of services that they provide,” Conrad-Miller said.

Written by Tim Mullaney

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