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It Is Unbelievable -- Real Fall Protection Exists

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By Steve Moran

Imagine this scenario. At 9:00 PM, a resident goes to bed. At 10:00 PM, he gets up to go to the bathroom, slips, falls and hits his head and can’t call for help. Your staff assumes he is sound asleep and fine, but he is not.

The next morning, your staff goes in to find him passed out on the bathroom floor with shallow rapid breathing and a thready pulse.

911 is called. The resident is rushed to the hospital and he is alive, but in such a weakened state that he needs to be moved to a nursing home, where over the next several months he continues to deteriorate and dies.

Here are the scary questions:

  • How will the family react to this sequence of events?

  • How will licensing react to this sequence of events?

  • What impact does it have on your reputation in the marketplace and in the professional referral community?

  • What kind of impact does this kind of incident have on your team members? What kind of impact does it have on your recruiting efforts?

I am currently at NIC, where I spent some time visiting with Vikram Devdas, the founder and CEO of Blue Willow Systems, (a Senior Housing Forum partner), and Rich Heaton, their CTO/COO. They have cracked the detection and elopement problem.  

Super Scary Risks

Falls and elopement are huge disasters waiting to happen. Lots of folks have played around with how to solve this problem using technology. Mostly, the result has been expensive, primitive and ineffective. Which means the problem is largely being addressed with lots of personal attention, locked doors and crossed fingers.  

And yet . . . it seems like, given the sophistication of technology today, there should be cost-effective technology that can solve these problems.   

The Big Idea

Depending on how you look at it, one of the scariest or most exciting technology evolutions is the ability of machines to teach themselves how to be smarter. Fitbits are a great example of this. Unfortunately, this capacity has largely passed the senior living space by.  

However, Blue Willow Systems has figured out how to take advantage of this technology and these capabilities. They have created the system you have been looking for. Here is what they can do today:

  • Detect falls and provide real time notification of the fall and resident location

  • Provide a meaningful useable Geofence

  • Provide real time location information on residents and staff

How It Works

There are four components to the system:

  • A Bluetooth wearable for residents and staff

  • A network of hubs that interfaces with the wearables and transfer the data to the cloud

  • A cloud-based platform for monitoring and reporting

  • Push notification to whatever device is preferred by the community

What Blue Willow Might Mean To You

They are officially launching at NIC in Washington, DC. I believe this is an early indication of how technology can radically improve how we care for residents.

While they cannot prevent falls, they have the very robust ability to let you know when falls happen. They can also let you know when residents elope and often what direction they traveled. They also give you the ability to track staff activity.

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