Remote-resident monitoring has long been a focus of senior housing operators, with great benefits for preventing falls, a leading cause of senior hospitalization and 30-day readmissions.
Yet further advancements in fall prevention technology are needed to not merely react to falls, but anticipate them. Now, one software provider is doing just that. And because the technology lets caregivers monitor residents remotely 24/7, the service is proving deeply valuable for resident monitoring during the current COVID-19 crisis.
Owlytics Healthcare is a Tel Aviv, Israel-based technology company with a new artificial intelligence platform embedded in an off-the-shelf Samsung Active 2 smartwatch to monitor falls and health trends in independent and assisted living communities. The company’s HIPAA-compliant (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) health-detection platform combines multiple health inputs to give senior housing operators and staff a more complete picture of a given resident’s fall risk.
And as there is no infrastructure needed to implement the Owlytics solution, facilities can quickly and easy implement the service into the community.
The software-based cloud service tracks three main areas of coordinated data:
— Movement, steps and walking patterns
— Heart rate, HRV, Sleep and other physiological measures
— Medication status
By pulling data from these three areas and synthesizing the data into an analytics system, the service tracks fall risk on a real-time, continuous basis. The solution even has benefits broader than fall prevention, because as a cellular-enabled Samsung smart watch with built-in GPS tracking and two-way cellular communication, the watch enables staff to easily locate the resident in need.
The solution’s health-monitoring capabilities makes this service an ideal technology solution for senior living operators to stay one step ahead of any potential health deterioration in residents by monitoring trends in body vital signs or changes in sleeping patterns. As a result, staff can more effectively monitor residents remotely and reduce contact with high-risk residents, a critical step in preventing the spread of the coronavirus.
“Owlytics has an interesting technology,” says Dr. Ari Naim, founder, president and CEO of location-based technology platform CenTrak, the daughter company of Owlytics partner Halma. “If there is a fall or potential fall or other hazard, then location is paramount.”
Naim notes that Owlytics’ watch-based service creates a unique entrant in the area of fall prevention. The watch is essentially a three-in-one system.
“It’s quite unique to add physiology as another parameter that you would assess,” Naim says. “Other people who are approaching this problem are only using motion sensors on the watch.”
Professor Jeffrey Hausdorff is director of The Center for the Study of Movement, Cognition and Mobility at Tel Aviv University, and has been working on early research around Owlytics service platform.
“There is a lot of data, and it’s integrated over time [to] get an accurate measure of where the person is in the beginning and using it as a reference to how a person changes over time,” Hausdorff says.
How Owlytics watches — with an impact on COVID-19
The benefits of Owlytics new service goes beyond falls, as the novel coronavirus strain, known as COVID-19, presents new challenges for operators. The Owlytics service helps caregivers minimize the interaction of residents and staff to reduce risk of being exposed to the virus.
Beyond that benefit, Owlytics’ service offers three main approaches for fall prevention.
First, by collecting and tracking these multiple, related areas of data, and using A.I., machine learning and predictive analytics to analyze personal physiology pattern, and deviation from that pattern. Owlytics enables senior housing operators to engage more proactively with those residents who are at a higher risk of falling.
The second approach takes place upon medication change input. The data is checked with a unique data set of medications with known side effects that could increase a resident’s risk of falling, and can recommend an alternative or help follow the residents at risk during the days needed for new medication “adoption”.
The third approach uses the data to minimize false positives.
“If you use accelerometers, you can get a lot of false alarms,” Naim says. “Just sitting down, [the resident] could bump against [the wall], and you wouldn’t know if that was a fall. But having the physiology trends gives you the extra [information] to compare and say, ‘Did an event happen or not?’ Just detecting a true fall is not a simple problem to solve.”
Owlytics is even working on adding a fourth component, Hausdorff says: sensorized shoe insoles, which can provide even more detailed information about walking patterns, missteps and fall risk.
While it’s too early for Hausdorff to offer conclusive results about the insoles, the initial work he’s seen, and Naim’s seen, has been “very exciting,” he says.
Adds Naim: “Exciting times.”To see how Owlytics Healthcare can help you prevent falls for your residents, and give you a comprehensive picture of your residents’ well-being beyond falls, visit Owlytics.com.