Multinational tech giant Philips (NYSE: PHG) has unveiled its latest product to help people age in place: a platform of connected sensors meant to monitor seniors in their homes in an effort to provide “always-on” home care and peace of mind for caregivers.
Through a partnership with in-home care franchise network Right at Home, Philips will bring its CareSensus remote monitoring system directly to 25 of the Omaha, Nebraska-based company’s agencies to start.
The platform features non-camera-based passive sensors placed throughout the home to collect data, which is processed to detect unusual behavior or patterns of activity. This analysis is then delivered to the Right at Home remote care team via a dashboard that tracks significant changes.
“The idea came from the challenge facing families of being able support their senior, when either they or a home care agency cannot be in the house at all times,” Deb Citrin, business lead for Philips Elder Care Services, tells Home Health Care News. “We thought about what types of services we could provide that ensure added protection for seniors when someone isn’t there with them.”
Two different types of sensors are installed throughout the house with CareSensus—motion sensors similar to those used in home security systems, and open-close contact sensors on the front door, back door and on the fridge. Information gathered by the sensors streams continuously and is presented in a way to indicate when clients are outside of their typical patterns. It takes two weeks to establish a sense of what’s normal for an individual, and aims to keep caregivers informed and proactive.
That’s not to say that there are no immediate reactions as a result of the sensors, though. If someone enters a bathroom and he or she doesn’t leave within a certain timeframe, or if someone is leaving the home outside of prescribed hours, then a real-time notification is emitted.
While the technology itself is certainly noteworthy, the partnership with Right at Home is what sets the service apart, Citrin says.
Right at Home will offer two forms of remote care services through the partnership. A well-being monitoring service, as previously mentioned, uses the sensors to assess behavior. The second is a routine check-in service, in which a local agency engages in a video chat with clients once or twice a day to develop relationships and take note of potential changes in appearance or hygiene that may be cause for concern.
What’s more, it allows Right at Home to provide more service offerings. Families concerned about their loved ones’ well-being can add remote monitoring on top of personal care services already administered, or have sensors installed if their family members aren’t yet ready for direct caregiving.
“Philips is working with Right at Home to really build this into what services they’re offering,” she says. “It lets each family create the right care plan for each individual, and our technology is an enabler for that.”
CareSensus is the most recent to be launched in Philips’ expanding portfolio of aging services geared toward senior independence, which includes Philips Lifeline medical alerts, connected medication adherence solutions and referrals to home health services and senior living options. Moving forward, Philips will look to extend its reach throughout the Right at Home network, as well as other cost-effective ways to keep people in their homes as long as possible across different payer and provider organizations.
Similar technology from various entrepreneurs has been introduced to the senior living space, as well.
Written by Kourtney Liepelt