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AgeTech: one platform to rule them all?

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Status Solutions talks unification of disparate technologies in senior living environments.

With AgeTech predicted to become a $2 trillion market, there are now a multitude of products, services and solutions being deployed to support the many in the aging population. While this level of innovation and investment can only be a good thing for the sector, it does raise concerns about how all of these different technologies can be implemented together – in a senior living environment, for example.

Longevity.Technology: Thought leaders like AgeTech Accelerator’s Lorraine Morley have spoken about the need for unifying technologies that make it easier to roll out and manage AgeTech in a scalable manner. We caught up recently with Amy Jeffs, vice-president of US technology firm Status Solutions to find out how her company is addressing this challenge.

Founded in 2001, Status specialises in bringing a wide range of disparate systems together into unified platforms across sectors ranging from education and government to hospitality and, of course, senior living. The Ohio-based company works with more than 1,500 senior living providers throughout the US and Canada, from major operators like Chartwell and National Church to smaller owner-operators, including both for-profit and not-for-profit business models.

“Our inherent purpose is to protect individuals,” says Jeffs. “In senior living, our goal is to provide a platform that allows for overall situational awareness – and that situation is really agnostic.”

To that end, Status provides three core platforms that combine to make up its full-service offering. With each platform given a female brand name, Jeffs jokes that they went for a “little sister” vibe instead of Big Brother.


 

One of the areas that Status is looking at in particular, is loneliness and treating it as a preventable condition – an area that is particularly relevant in these socially distant times.

 


 

SARA (Situational Awareness and Response Assistant) is an alarm management systems that pulls together disparate systems into a uniform alerting platform.

“The idea is to utilise your current investment – you don’t have to rip and replace,” says Jeffs. “SARA comes in as a middleware that allows you to build this alerting platform on top of all of your alarming systems.”

CATIE (Communication and Access to Information Everywhere) is a communication platform that can be used in senior living communities for communication with and between residents.

Amy Jeffs, vice-president of US technology firm Status Solutions
Amy Jeffs, vice-president, Status Solutions.

“CATIE gives you the ability to take over and have information available via screens, whether that’s desktops, kiosk, smartphones, however that information needs to be displayed, as well as creating a two-way communication bridge,” says Jeffs. “But the ultimate goal with CATIE is to really customize that content. In senior living, that’s things like calendaring, video chat, menus, dining – all of the things that they are able to provide from a service perspective, and to help bridge the digital divide from a, from a senior perspective.”

Finally, MIMI (Merging Information into Meaningful Insights) is the company’s data engine, which analyses health information and other data to provide insight into a resident’s overall wellbeing.

“Our goal was not just to create a reporting mechanism, but over time to be able to pull the information that you need to then be able to make predictive analytics,” says Jeffs. “Having early indicators, and being able to visualize that and to alert based on that to allow for early intervention, which hopefully leads to prevention.”

 


 

“We then provide that information in a dashboard view for staff or family members … so that intervention strategies can be made and really personalised at the resident level.”

 


 

One of the areas that Status is looking at in particular, is loneliness, and treating it as a preventable condition – an area that is particularly relevant in these socially distant times.

“If you just look at activities of daily living – for example, eating, activity level, involvement in event or activities available in the community, communication with fellow residents or staff – and having the ability to gather that information, and then be able to create baselines, by which then you can measure changes,” says Jeffs. “We then provide that information in a dashboard view for staff or family members, who may not physically be present or not allowed to be present, and to take all of those indicators, merge that information together, to be able to truly look at the overall wellness, health and wellbeing, so that intervention strategies can be made and really personalized at the resident level.”

So does Status view the current boom in AgeTech as a challenge or a benefit?

“We do see lots of newfangled ideas and shiny objects… and we have to work with our customers through what makes the most sense for them,” says Jeffs. “Our brand promise is maximum performance and minimal maintenance. So everything that we look at, we want to ensure that’s what we’re delivering. So we try to base that on understanding what components from an integration perspective are going to help provide the maximum performance to the customer with the minimal amount of ongoing maintenance necessary.

Looking to the future, Status is exploring face recognition technology as a key development area.

“[Face recognition] is where we’re seeing a lots of different types of applications,” says Jeffs. “Traditionally people have thought about video surveillance in the security space, but there are applications beyond that from a visitor management perspective, and from a wander prevention perspective. And obviously some of the things that COVID has created and some of the guidelines and restrictions that our customers are being faced with – I think there are some going to be some long-term effects to the way that the operations are going to have to change at the staff, resident and visitor level – and the facial recognition piece is key to pulling all that all together right now.”

Images courtesy of Status Solutions

 

Danny Sullivan
Contributing Editor Danny has worked in technology communications for more than 15 years, spanning Europe and North America. From bionics and lasers to software and pharmaceuticals – and everything in between – he’s covered it all. Danny has wide experience of technology publishing and technical writing and has specific interest in the transfer from idea to market.
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