Where dementia, big data and IoT meet
Sydney, 8th November 2016:
Veteran technologist Peter Vogel, who developed the first “Vitalcall” personal alarm 30 years ago, is back in the aged care business.
As CTO of Vitalcare, Vogel has developed a new system that takes over where his previous “pendant” alarm no longer meets the need.
“As the population ages, more and more people are living with varying degrees of dementia” Vogel says. “There comes a point where they won’t wear a pendant, or they don’t think to activate it when they need help.”
Vitalcare’s new system is completely passive — it can call for help without the need to wear any device at all. Drawing on technology as diverse as self-driving cars, big data and the Internet of Things (IoT), Vitalcare’s ‘CRIS’ will be announced at the upcoming ITAC conference (Information Technology in Aged Care) held in Melbourne between the 28-30 November 2016.
“CRIS is our new Confused Resident Information System” Vogel explains. “It silently monitors domestic routines 24/7 and notifies carers of any departure from normal patterns. For example, if someone who normally sleeps from 9pm to 5am with one or two toilet breaks has been in bed for 10 hours, an alert can be texted to a family member or carer, who can then phone or visit them. If someone is detected as falling out of bed and not getting up immediately, that is more than an ‘alert’, it’s an ‘alarm’ and CRIS will call for medical help.”
Vitalcare will be trialling CRIS in partnership with industry partners in the New Year. The system will be available to all aged care facilities later in 2017.
Vogel proposes a portable model will be offered for temporary home use on a rental basis. “This is where the biggest need will be in the coming years”, he predicts. “It simply won’t be possible to put everyone affected by dementia into nursing homes. The numbers are clearly telling us that already. It’s personally very satisfying to be able to offer something that really helps both the elderly people alone at home and the family and others who care for them.”
Mr Vogel will be co-presenting a paper on the dementia friendly smart home of the future with Prof. Tim McCarthy of Wollongong University at the ITAC conference in Melbourne.
About Peter Vogel
Peter’s long and distinguished career in electronics, music and aged care technology gives him a unique perspective on the opportunities advanced technologies present to aged care.
Having first studied biorhythms “just for fun” at aged 17, Peter went on to change the world of music with his invention of the first sound sampling synthesiser (the Fairlight), synonymous with music of the 80’s from artist like Stevie Wonder, Kate Bush, Peter Gabriel and Michael Jackson.
Peter designed the first Vitalcall personal medical alarm product in 1982. Updates of this concept survive to this day.
More recently, Peter has been researching the role of music in dementia and aged care with the objective of providing improvements in resident behaviour, family engagement, facility workflows and most importantly quality of life. This knowledge is being applied to the design of a complete assistive technology suite which will be trialled in the dementia-friendly home being designed by the University of Wollongong.
Vitalcare has pioneered nurse call and critical messaging systems for over 30 years. The company designs, manufactures, installs and services the most innovative systems available through a national network of company owned branches and authorised distributors. Vitalcare is the first manufacturer to integrate IoT (internet of things) technology in its two-way waterproof pendants and call points along with cloud integration for advanced reporting, supervised maintenance and data analysis. Vitalcare is the industries most trusted brand with over 1,000 sites nationally (40,000 beds) across aged care and hospital markets.