Improving Eldercare with Cognitive Computing and the Internet of Things

by John W. Morgan, CEO, Avamere Family of CompaniesPhoto of John Morgan, CEO of Avamere Family of Companies

We are just beginning to see the impact Baby Boomers will have on the healthcare industry and post-acute continuum. Every month, more than a quarter million Americans reach retirement age, and each will have unique challenges and diverse and ever-evolving needs, especially as they acquire physical or cognitive disabilities.

The Avamere Family of Companies, which provides a continuum of post-acute care to seniors in more than 40 independent living facilities, assisted living, transitional care and skilled nursing facilities, has taken many steps to prepare for and meet needs of this demographic. We have redesigned our care delivery models, re-oriented our business from volume-based care to value-based care, and have brought the power of IBM cognitive computing and the Internet of Things to help us improve eldercare for our residents and patients.

Photo of a nurse standing in a hallway with her hand on a monitor hanging on the wall.

Avamere will leverage sensors and cognitive computing to help its staff monitor daily activities of its residents and patients to help identify risks and minimize hospital readmission rates.

We are dedicated to the continuous improvement of the care we provide our residents and patients and by collaborating with IBM Accessibility Research we can create smart retirement and nursing home environments to help us gain insights into physical and environmental conditions. We have embarked on a six-month research project to help us uncover the factors that affect 30-day hospital readmission rates in patients.

Avamere will work with IBM to monitor our resident’s movement, gait analysis, factors that could lead to fall risk, and daily activities, including personal hygiene, sleeping patterns, incontinence and trips to the bathroom. IBM will then analyze this streaming sensor data to help Avamere create and maintain a contextual understanding of our residents that will translate into enhanced patient care models, efficiencies for our clinicians, and help us continue to revolutionize post-acute care delivery and outcomes.

The more information we can capture and analyze, the better prepared we can be to help improve care for our residents and patients. For instance, by understanding someone’s sleep patterns, we could see that on one specific day they didn’t sleep their normal amount, and therefore might be at a greater risk of falling. This knowledge can help us proactively intervene before there is an accident.

Adding an additional layer of patient and resident monitoring will help us bridge an information gap that exists in almost every healthcare setting. We are excited by the prospects of working with IBM, as it helps move us forward in our mission to enhance the life of every person we serve.

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