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Sensara Provide Caregiving Solution for the Aging Population

By Special Guest
Madindra Aryal and Arti Loftus, Special Correspondents
March 06, 2018

The human population is continuing to increase at an exponential rate and amongst them, the number of older adults is growing particularly fast, partially due to the fact that we are living longer.  Data from the World Population Prospect defines that the age group of 60 and upwards is rising faster than any other younger age group.  In the year 2017, the population of the world comprising of people who were 60 or over, was 13% of the global population, this is due to double by the year 2050 with a growth rate of 3% every year.  With this immense rise, it also brings huge challenges in caregiving.  Given this scenario, on a global scale, what is being developed to help with this?

Sensara, a Dutch company based in Rotterdam, Netherlands, is focused on supporting the older adult with smart sensor technology.  Founded in 2013 from the research gathered from the scientific institute, TNO and the Rosetta project, Irkek Karkowski, once the lead of the Rosetta project is now the CTO at Sensara.

With new technology advances, Sensara has focused their attention on making the older adult more independent, whilst keeping them safe and secure.  Sensara provides innovative solutions for the elderly who do not currently require any nursing services, elderly that have some care at home, and also for local communities that support the elderly population.  The Sensara HomeCare platform has been developed to keep track of older adults and their activities so that it becomes easier to give them the care that they need by providing automatically generated notifications, triggered by any irregularities in their everyday lifestyle pattern, and send them directly to their caregiver. 

At night, Sensara HomeCare BedSensor can track and monitor the user, making it simple to be given evening or nighttime care.  The system will detect the user in their bed and will not send out any unnecessary notifications, allowing the caregiver to relax, knowing that your loved one is sleeping peacefully.  Sensara’s products and services also provide the ability to connect to an emergency service, although this is an optional feature, it can help to improve the care given to the elderly as research suggests that this type of monitoring may help delay the admittance into a nursing home by almost four to six months.  Once they are admitted, past activities and history will have been recorded in their personal profile and easily obtainable.

For use within nursing homes and institutes, the company has developed a simple and easy to use application which allows caregivers to overview all the rooms and handle alarms through their smartphones.  Caregivers are able to access and control activities according to the data generated and being displayed, making the caregiving profession more reliable than ever before.  Eventually, eliminating stress when making their nighttime rounds and much simpler with the use of trusted, technologically sound, and always on sensors installed where it matters the most.  The caregiver, in turn, will have more time to spend with people requiring more urgent care.  This will also help in making caregivers readily available where the presence of a human being is necessary.

Most importantly, Sensara HomeCare focuses all of its functionality to provide a means for developing a prevention system.  The latest and relevant trends for preventative care suggested by scientific research are monitored by Sensara’s platform.  As we all know prevention serves better than a cure.  For instance, an individual who is walking suddenly decreases in speed has the potentially increased risk of falling which can be prevented, by exercise for the improvement of equilibrium that leads to prevention of a fall by up to 50%.  Another example of prevention can be taken from the change in activity in the kitchen, that directly indicates the skipping of meals which could result in malnutrition, in turn, adding to the chance of falling due to lack of nutrition.  With early detection, the chances of high-risk situations like this will not be an issue.

The platform gathers signals sent by sensors which will be stored for analysis.  The analysis is done by inspecting present and past data received from sensors, which in turn will notify of any new changes in the regular data.  Each profile that Sensara uses is certified by the VU University Hospital in Amsterdam, and each message covers every detail in the form of a patient's profile.  Institutions which are connected to the network to provide care may also receive information based on changes in the profile of the person under supervision. 

The system is intended to receive signals from sensors continuously, which leads to the automatic adjustment to changing patterns over time, increasing accuracy to the next level by reducing false alarms from triggering.  The application can be installed simply and is extremely user-friendly as well as facilitating its user by keeping every single piece of data highly secured.  Your loved ones are always monitored and their activities are meaningfully represented by the application so that regardless of the distance, they always feel connected, promoting peace of mind.

Sensara wants to make the lives of their users safe and secure and by successfully implementing an ISO certified data center, it makes it possible for data to only be accessed by authorized individuals.  Dutch telecom operator KPN has certified Sensara’s privacy and provides internet security.  Sensara’s care packages are intentionally non-intrusive by not using cameras or microphones to track activities but instead opts for wireless motion sensors.   Information starts to flow once access information is verified and the system remains connected to the Sensara network with a provision to alarm button in case of an emergency.

Sensara has developed a product suitable for every situation.  By the tracking and monitoring of the older adult in this way we can prove that IoT based solutions like this are a benefit - providing older adults with the quality of life, keeping our loved ones safe, and peace of mind to the ones who love them the most.

Edited by Ken Briodagh
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