The 4 most exciting technologies and innovations in Aged Care
Every industry is experiencing a technological boom, and Aged Care is no different. There are many exciting innovations in technology that are both currently available and being developed as we speak.
It’s really important for Aged Care providers and Professional Carers to be aware of these changing technologies as some of them can really change the way personal care is delivered in a positive way. Not only this, but a lot of these innovations will become the norm within the sector meaning if you can be ahead of the curve in terms of knowing how these things work, then you’ll be a much better Professional Carer.
To get you a head start, we’ve highlighted our four favourite pieces of Aged Care related technologies and innovations that are either currently available, or under development…enjoy!
Elsi Smart Floor
Utilising the same technology as iPads, the Elsi Smart Floor is a monitoring and alarm system made up of several small pads which are placed on top of the flooring at a residential facility or a client’s home.
The idea is for the Elsi Smart Floor to monitor the movements of clients and staff members who move along it, so it can collect relevant data to assist with providing quality, efficient care. The pads will send the data as pressure is applied, giving anyone viewing the monitoring platform a strong insight into the movement and behaviours of clients.
With this in place, employees will be able to see what is happening with several residents at any given time, which will potentially decrease any delay in reaction when someone needs help. It also enables staff members formulate better individual care strategies due to the comprehensive data collected when staff can’t see.
The Elsi Smart Floor also has an inbuilt alarm system that can detect if someone has fallen, and sends an alert for a staff member to help. Map Data Services produce tailor-made mobile apps for several industries, including Aged Care. These apps are essentially interactive maps that assist the user with navigation around residential aged care facilities.
To produce these apps, Map Data Services utilises several of their existing mapping products, combined with an accurate map of the facility to create an easy to use interface which gives users directions and guides them to various points of interest, such as the reception desk and toilets.
An app such as this not only benefits visitors and staff members, but also the residents themselves. New residents will be able to use Map Data Services to help navigate through facilities when they first arrive to help speed up the process of familiarising themselves. It can give them step-by-step directions to important areas like their room, the toilet and recreational areas.
This next great bit of technology is called: Stroke Therapeutic Rehabilitation Occupational Kinect Experiment (S.T.R.O.K.E for short) and was the winning entry for this year’s InnovAge - an event held over two weekends that explores new innovations in the Aged Care sector.
The idea for S.T.R.O.K.E came about after two young brothers; Kaiden and Joshua Edye, and their father Donovan noticed their grandfather’s refusal to do his exercises at home after suffering a stroke. Through S.T.R.O.K.E. the Edye’s were able to develop a way to increase compliance with physical therapy and rehabilitation by re-contextualisng some of the exercises into video games for the Kinect platform, a piece of virtual reality hardware developed my Microsoft.
S.T.R.O.K.E’s is not yet available to consumers, but we are still really excited by it because of its ability to allow the user to customise the exercises and games to meet patient's needs and interests.
Paro Theraputic Robot
This last one is a bit of fun – the Paro Theraputic Robot (pictured). It is essentially a robotic seal that assists with a number of socialisation and stress issues in the elderly.
A lot of research has shown the positive effect that animals have on a number of factors within the elderly. These include: stress, promoting carer/client socialisation. With that in mind they created the Paro robot specifically to provide elderly residents and clients who might not have access to actual animals, the opportunity to interact with something that can provide similar benefits.
The Paro robot mimics animal behaviour with its 5 sensors (tactile, light, audio, temperature and posture), which can recognises touch, and will cause it to react to certain things through positive reinforcement. For example if you like the greeting noise it makes, you simple need to stroke it gently each time for it to learn the behaviour.