Wearable tech to help prevent resident falls
Cardiff Council’s telecare response service has implemented an innovative wearable solution which helps to identify certain health risks early on.
The ARMED (Advanced Risk Modelling for Early Detection) software was developed by HAS Technology. Twenty individuals have been identified as having a potential ‘falls risk’ and provided with ARMED’s wearable smart watches, so that their sleep and mobility data can remotely be monitored.
It allows professionals to pick up on gradual deterioration that may not be obvious to family and carers in everyday contact with an individual, until it’s too late. By providing real-time information, warning signed can be raised approximately 32 days in advance of a potential incident, thereby allowing carers to pick up on this gradual deterioration.
How does the tech work?
Customers wear a Polar device which collects data on vital health signs 24 hours a day. This information is then synced via Blue Tooth, with a smartphone and uploaded to ARMED at regular intervals throughout a 24-hour cycle. Using sophisticated predictive analytics, the data is analysed giving a wealth of information about activity/sleep patterns and heart rate.
What was your response to Covid-19
Following advice from health and social care professionals in the UK to switch to remote interaction where possible, ARMED has been adapted to be implemented remotely during the pandemic minimising personal contact but maximising the ability for stratifying risk.
What is the impact and benefit for people?
The wearable technology brings benefits to individuals, their families, care providers and the wider community.
By encouraging self-management and identifying at-risk individuals sooner, there is the potential to improve quality of care and also reduce costs whilst allowing people to stay as independent as possible in their own homes. For example, during Covid19, people with lower level needs may have received less visits so keeping people safe while in isolation has, naturally, been the main priority for professionals.
“This new technology is providing us with something that we haven’t got but that’s desperately needed. My wife has dementia and this technology could help keep us living together for longer, and also give our family reassurance.” Loreburn Housing Association Resident
“With this assistive technology, our residents are able to monitor their daily health and mobility, and our professional support network will be alerted to any potential risk trends. As this point, we may speak to their GP, the Independent Living Service, or Community Rehab physios and put a plan in place to manage falls prevention.”
Is the solution sustainable post Covid-19?
ARMED anticipate additional pressures with the progression of the pandemic, ARMED's wearable technology really highlights how having remote but real-time access to data can support preventative measures.
The goal is to ultimately improve the life and wellbeing of people who access care and support. As social distancing relaxes, ARMED can offer other monitoring of key metrics associated with frailty and risk of falling, such as low grip strength, muscle mass, hydration levels, low heart rate and heart rate variability.