Beth Meid, Director of Global Business AMD
The world’s population is not only growing, but also growing older!
The number of 80+ age group is growing four times faster than any other age group. 80% of this age group live with incontinence.
How can we, as product manufacturers, help the elderly live dignified and comfortable lives? How can we reduce anxiety, wetness, bedsores, falls and increase wellbeing and comfort? How can we optimize toileting so less pads are used? How can we introduce undisturbed sleep at night? How can we make the lives of Carers and of families less worrying and reduce the workload? How can we change the mindset of the families and Carers to trust incontinence products to do their jobs and change the pads only then when it is absolutely necessary? How can we, in an everchanging world, guarantee perfect documentation in the care for elderly, especially in increasing foreign workers with poor language skills in the countries where jobs are available? Where can we make the workplace more attractive? How can we be more sustainable and produce less waste and less laundry?
These are, among many many others, the questions we pose ourselves daily.
Forerunners in the incontinence pad manufacturers are developing smart solutions and we will digitalize pads!
These types of products can detect wetness to a very accurate range, faecal movement, position of the patient, whether a patient has fallen, has left the bed or room, is drinking enough, there is irregularity in the patient’s temperature – the traceability list is endless. This idea has been pushed through from increasing cost of caring for the elderly and decreasing willingness to pay for this from health boards across the globe, from our young minded older generation, from lacking staff, from family concerns and also that the family caring/ paying is now a ‘Smart Family’ grown up with smart devices that can detect all sorts of activities.
Other huge drivers are lawsuits, mainly in North America, arising from lack of care and increased costs being covered by families of loved ones. The automatic documentation to the cloud shows that patients are not only being optimally cared for and also in a cost-effective way but also there is an easy non subjective way to prove this.
Digital incontinence consists of a sensor in the pad which relays per Bluetooth constant activities of the patient wearing the pad. This is read by an APP on a smart device of the Carer, and/or also on a dashboard in retirement homes where many patients are being monitored and the information is stored indefinitely in a cloud. The data can be used by Carers and home management to improve overall wellbeing of their patients. All the above mentioned and more is possible.
Technology can unlock productive care hours by liberating carers from burdensome administration. Simplifying the process of reporting on care interactions means apps can save every carer up to an hour a day. That’s three days a month saved on paperwork per worker!
Better still, because App (pictogram)-based care delivery technology can be operated by people with literacy, learning and English language difficulties – such technology could significantly broaden out the potential talent pool, helping the sector to dramatically relieve recruitment.
Digitalisation can also improve staff retention rates by making roles in care more enjoyable. We’re even hearing that carers are asking providers whether they use mobile digital care planning technology during interviews, so adopting a tech approach could give you the edge when recruiting.
To find out more, contact me at [email protected]