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Falls in the elderly and disabled population are a major cause for concern. With so many caregiver health professionals working to keep patients safe, it’s important that we learn everything we can about their needs when providing care services or else they’ll continue down this dangerous path which could lead too Injury
Falls among older adults often go undetected because these injuries happen out of sight – but you don’t need special technology! Just follow some simple steps: Make sure there is someone on call who knows how best assist your loved one if something goes wrong.
In this MEDICA.de interview, David Meier explains how QUMEA’s radar technology provides a unique solution for anonymous patient monitoring and reveals why the Swiss healthtech startup is participating in this year’s MEDICA START-UP PARK.
What is QUMEA’s patient monitoring system?
QUMEA is a mobility monitoring tool that employs state-of-the-art technology to make easier to deliver effective care. Anonymous 3D radar technology monitors vulnerable patients and residents to alert healthcare staff about a patient’s mobility status. This provides an early warning system when patients attempt to leave their beds unassisted, ensuring the patient receives assistance before he/she has left the bed. This method delivers effective fall prevention. QUMEA also measures and records the activity of patients and residents, thus supporting behavior analysis and validating therapy decisions.
How does activity monitoring support therapy decisions?
Our activity curve allows caregivers to retrospectively track the patient’s or resident’s sleep habits. It indicates whether the patient slept well, whether he/she responded well following the previous evening’s therapy and whether sufficient pain relief was administered. QUMEA is also used in nursing homes where this mechanism also helps monitor the dosing of sleep medications.
How does the patient monitoring system work?
The patient monitoring system consists of three simple components: the sensor, the QUMEA Cloud and the QUMEA app. The sensor is mounted on the ceiling and detects the slightest changes in movement. The raw data is sent to our proprietary Cloud, which subsequently makes AI-based action recommendations. Users are alerted via sounds and imagery thanks to our intuitive mobile app.
QUMEA tells caregivers whether patients attempt to sit up, experience restlessness, bed exits or falls. If patients who are at risk of falls wake up, sit up or stand up, the system alerts the nursing staff immediately. This reduces the risk of falling and fall-related injuries – without restraining or preventing the patients from moving.
What is the problem you address in this setting?
Falls are especially problematic in healthcare settings. Each year, 60,000 patients fall in Swiss hospitals, and each fall costs society and the healthcare system a lot of money. But most importantly, the QUMEA system provides much needed relief for nursing staff. Not just since the onset of COVID-19 have caregivers been faced with unrelenting stress in their jobs. We want to give the nursing staff a digital tool that helps them monitor patients effectively and on an individual basis.
How did you come up with the idea?
Oddly enough, we started out with the technology and then we identified the right problem to solve with it. The idea came to us because we all share an enthusiasm for the latest technology and the commitment to use it to improve the health of all people. We are perpetually fascinated by the possibilities of modern radar technology, especially as it pertains to remote vital sign monitoring.
Our contacts in medical and nursing professions alerted us to the lack of innovation in fall prevention and monitoring of patients at risk for falls. Traditional monitoring systems include outdated fall mats or systems that rely on camera-based technology, which raises many data protection issues in addition to not being very accurate. We collaborated with a university hospital to develop a system that was allowed to reach maturity in practical application and has subsequently become indispensable.
Who uses your product at this juncture?
The patient monitoring system is currently implemented in twelve establishments in Switzerland, and we are charting the course for further growth. The spectrum runs the gamut from departments specializing in the management and treatment of delirium and psychiatric clinics to conventional care centers. Apart from the domestic market, we are also running tests in Australia and Spain. Our focus will be fully on Germany in 2022. We are already building business partnerships with established companies to pursue a co-marketing strategy.
What feedback have you received from the establishments?
We received very positive feedback. Our system adds enormous value by preventing falls, improving patient safety, and increasing company efficiency. QUMEA is designed to be the caregiver’s best friend and relieve caregiver burden, which is why we trust in building close relationships with customers and partners. Our goal is to learn from those fighting in the trenches to continually improve the system to meet their needs.
The new patient monitoring system in this year’s MEDICA START-UP PARK is a great example for other hospitals to follow.