News – 25-8 – Corona crisis boost for more technology in the heathcare sector?

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Corona crisis boost for more technology in the heathcare sector?

Originally published in Bouwen aan de Zorg no. 05 2020 | Text: Koen Mortelmans | Pictures: Koen Mortelmans, 25-8 & Joke Couvreur 

 

The care sector has long been characterised by an increasing use of technological resources. This evolution is happening not only because such resources increase the residential comfort and the efficiency of the care itself, but also because it is becoming ever more difficult to find employees who wish to commit themselves permanently to the sector, especially in residential care centres. Bouwen aan de Zorg discussed this issue with Filip Gelaude, founder of the Telecom-IT Group (Aalter), Tom Messiaen, managing partner of 25-8 and the experienced healthcare consultant Dominique Roodhooft.

Roodhooft not only has experience as an independent consultant, for a time she also headed Zorg-saam, a group with fifteen residential care centres, and taught entrepreneurship at the Artevelde University College in Ghent. As an Integrator, 25-8 forms part of the Telecom-IT Group. It assumes responsibility for implementing the solutions that sister company Unmatched develops for the healthcare sector. Today 25-8 is working with over thirty hospitals and almost 450 residential care centres.

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LOCKDOWN

"The corona crisis and the related long lockdown of the Flemish residential care centres has made it painfully clear that technology, above all communication technology, isn’t a superfluous luxury in residential care", says Messiaen. “For months elderly residents remained entirely cut off from visits by family members, and even after that the visit possibilities remained very restricted. Telephoning more often constitutes only a limited compensation for this. Moreover, many residents do not have a smartphone, or they can´t really use them. Telephoning with the assistance (and the smartphone) of a staff member is very time-consuming for the latter and, due to the small screen, relatively uncomfortable for most residents.”

 

When the corona pandemic broke out, 25-8 developed LynX hello, which enables the residents to make video calls via their television screen. For this they have a wristband with a single button in order to accept an incoming call. They can adjust the noise level with the television set’s remote control. LynX hello is a video extension of the existing LynX, an alarm and communication platform for the healthcare sector.

SIMPLICITY

"In this way, technology can overcome a part of the limitations of the lockdown", Roodhooft believes. “These restrictions are not only physical in nature, but also affect the emotional state of those involved.” She also points out the importance of the applications’ simplicity. "Although the number of residential care residents that bring along their own computer and can easily deal with recent technology is rising, there will always be a group that needs assistance. Via a single-button application we can limit this assistance and it can be done largely from outside the care room. The residential care centre maintains the control, so that it can prevent video calls from coming in while someone is being washed, for example.”

TWOFOLD OBJECTIVE

“Technology thus serves a twofold objective. It takes over a part of the physical work of the caregivers and at the same time it reduces the isolation”, notes Gelaude. “Not only due to the lockdown, but also because nuclear families are gradually shrinking, this problem is progressively assuming greater proportions.”

 

AFFORDABLE
“The technology also has to remain affordable”, explains Messiaen. “It therefore makes sense as much as possible to bundle applications into a single package for communities of sufficient economic scope. Along with alarm and communication, this can include control of the lighting. A system with tags for persons and mobile resources, combined with sensors - Bluetooth Low Energy beacons - in the lighting, can recognise wandering behaviour and find non-demented residents quickly when, for example, their general practitioner comes to see them."

©JokeCouvreur3.jpg

With a lighting with individually controllable elements you can not only suggest evacuation and other routes, but also create colour atmospheres. "The colour of the lighting above a door can also indicate whether the resident is receiving care at that moment, sleeping, or for some other reason does not wish to be disturbed."  

 

“Currently the important thing is to make it possible for people to remain in their own residence as long as possible”, emphasises Gelaude. "Therefore healthcare technology is essential not only for hospitals and residential care centres, but also for home care. Homes of the elderly must be equipped in such a way as to proactively respond to their increasing needs. The sensor technology is sufficiently advanced to signal when type-1 diabetes patients, for example, need insulin or sugar. Cardiovascular diseases too can be remotely monitored, so that one can intervene quickly when necessary.”

 

VOLUNTEERS

“The lockdown has really marked a turning point”, warns Roodhooft. “Formerly there existed an extensive volunteer network, but even the volunteers were suddenly no longer welcome in the residential care centres. During the lockdown they have found other activities, so that some of them are no longer returning. Just as with the professional personnel, there is a manpower (and womanpower) shortage here as well.” "Outside the residential centres, the challenge will be to also integrate neighbourhood volunteers with the extra technology", Gelaude explains. "Care circles of 6 to 12 kilometres around a residential care centre can play a role in this." Due to the ageing of society, the ratio of pensioners to those who are actively working has grown significantly higher, Messiaen believes. “Europe will become poorer as a result, and active seniors will want to - and have to - earn additional income.” "In the digital world, alongside the role of technology we must also rethink that of several players. The demographic evolution will make this ineluctable”, Roodhooft concludes.

 

WANT TO USE OUR SMART TECHNOLOGY?

We’d be delighted to come visit you to review your needs together. And if our technology can offer an answer, we´ll show you exactly how during a demonstration in our offices. If you´re convinced, you’ll quickly receive an offer that is custom-tailored to your project.

The care sector has long been characterised by an increasing use of technological resources...

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Corona crisis boost for more technology in the heathcare sector?

Originally published in Bouwen aan de Zorg no. 05 2020 | Text: Koen Mortelmans | Pictures: Koen Mortelmans, 25-8 & Joke Couvreur 

 

The care sector has long been characterised by an increasing use of technological resources. This evolution is happening not only because such resources increase the residential comfort and the efficiency of the care itself, but also because it is becoming ever more difficult to find employees who wish to commit themselves permanently to the sector, especially in residential care centres. Bouwen aan de Zorg discussed this issue with Filip Gelaude, founder of the Telecom-IT Group (Aalter), Tom Messiaen, managing partner of 25-8 and the experienced healthcare consultant Dominique Roodhooft.

Roodhooft not only has experience as an independent consultant, for a time she also headed Zorg-saam, a group with fifteen residential care centres, and taught entrepreneurship at the Artevelde University College in Ghent. As an Integrator, 25-8 forms part of the Telecom-IT Group. It assumes responsibility for implementing the solutions that sister company Unmatched develops for the healthcare sector. Today 25-8 is working with over thirty hospitals and almost 450 residential care centres.

LOCKDOWN

"The corona crisis and the related long lockdown of the Flemish residential care centres has made it painfully clear that technology, above all communication technology, isn’t a superfluous luxury in residential care", says Messiaen. “For months elderly residents remained entirely cut off from visits by family members, and even after that the visit possibilities remained very restricted. Telephoning more often constitutes only a limited compensation for this. Moreover, many residents do not have a smartphone, or they can´t really use them. Telephoning with the assistance (and the smartphone) of a staff member is very time-consuming for the latter and, due to the small screen, relatively uncomfortable for most residents.”

 

When the corona pandemic broke out, 25-8 developed LynX hello, which enables the residents to make video calls via their television screen. For this they have a wristband with a single button in order to accept an incoming call. They can adjust the noise level with the television set’s remote control. LynX hello is a video extension of the existing LynX, an alarm and communication platform for the healthcare sector.

AdobeStock_331779044.jpg

SIMPLICITY

"In this way, technology can overcome a part of the limitations of the lockdown", Roodhooft believes. “These restrictions are not only physical in nature, but also affect the emotional state of those involved.” She also points out the importance of the applications’ simplicity. "Although the number of residential care residents that bring along their own computer and can easily deal with recent technology is rising, there will always be a group that needs assistance. Via a single-button application we can limit this assistance and it can be done largely from outside the care room. The residential care centre maintains the control, so that it can prevent video calls from coming in while someone is being washed, for example.”

TWOFOLD OBJECTIVE

“Technology thus serves a twofold objective. It takes over a part of the physical work of the caregivers and at the same time it reduces the isolation”, notes Gelaude. “Not only due to the lockdown, but also because nuclear families are gradually shrinking, this problem is progressively assuming greater proportions.”

 

AFFORDABLE
“The technology also has to remain affordable”, explains Messiaen. “It therefore makes sense as much as possible to bundle applications into a single package for communities of sufficient economic scope. Along with alarm and communication, this can include control of the lighting. A system with tags for persons and mobile resources, combined with sensors - Bluetooth Low Energy beacons - in the lighting, can recognise wandering behaviour and find non-demented residents quickly when, for example, their general practitioner comes to see them."

©JokeCouvreur3.jpg

With a lighting with individually controllable elements you can not only suggest evacuation and other routes, but also create colour atmospheres. "The colour of the lighting above a door can also indicate whether the resident is receiving care at that moment, sleeping, or for some other reason does not wish to be disturbed."  

 

“Currently the important thing is to make it possible for people to remain in their own residence as long as possible”, emphasises Gelaude. "Therefore healthcare technology is essential not only for hospitals and residential care centres, but also for home care. Homes of the elderly must be equipped in such a way as to proactively respond to their increasing needs. The sensor technology is sufficiently advanced to signal when type-1 diabetes patients, for example, need insulin or sugar. Cardiovascular diseases too can be remotely monitored, so that one can intervene quickly when necessary.”

 

VOLUNTEERS

“The lockdown has really marked a turning point”, warns Roodhooft. “Formerly there existed an extensive volunteer network, but even the volunteers were suddenly no longer welcome in the residential care centres. During the lockdown they have found other activities, so that some of them are no longer returning. Just as with the professional personnel, there is a manpower (and womanpower) shortage here as well.” "Outside the residential centres, the challenge will be to also integrate neighbourhood volunteers with the extra technology", Gelaude explains. "Care circles of 6 to 12 kilometres around a residential care centre can play a role in this." Due to the ageing of society, the ratio of pensioners to those who are actively working has grown significantly higher, Messiaen believes. “Europe will become poorer as a result, and active seniors will want to - and have to - earn additional income.” "In the digital world, alongside the role of technology we must also rethink that of several players. The demographic evolution will make this ineluctable”, Roodhooft concludes.

 

WANT TO USE OUR SMART TECHNOLOGY?

We’d be delighted to come visit you to review your needs together. And if our technology can offer an answer, we´ll show you exactly how during a demonstration in our offices. If you´re convinced, you’ll quickly receive an offer that is custom-tailored to your project.

The care sector has long been characterised by an increasing use of technological resources...

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