Aged Care disruption - Passive monitoring technology and care outcomes

By Charlotte Morison - November 14, 2016

As the aged care sector shifts from block funding to consumer directed care, passive monitoring technology is set to become a significant disrupter in the care sector. It provides care providers with real time information and analytics to identify trends and determine a patient’s overall wellness levels – bringing a higher level of wellness outcomes for the patient – but there are some other considerations that need to be taken into account.

The old reactive, emergency based care model, where test results, doctor visits and rostered scheduled visits are the primary source of information, is no longer enough to drive sustainable outcomes in a consumer driven funding model. With the industry shifting to a consumer driven funding approach, people will choose the provider who is able to provide them the best wellness outcomes. In the case of the care sector, this is the ability for a care recipient to remain in place with a level of wellness and independence that enables them to enjoy life at home for as long as possible.

The information provided by passive monitoring technology promotes a proactive, wellness based approach and enables care providers to identify and facilitate efficient planning and scheduling of resources, placing them when and where they’re most needed.

In a US based study, where passive monitoring technology was installed in 23 patients' homes, it was shown to deliver a reduction in a number of areas including:

  • cost of care
  • number of hospitalised days
  • number of billable interventions

Using sensors, the technology identifies and alerts care providers about changes to normal behaviours and routines. Disrupted routines such as eating habits, sleeping patterns, missed medication and activity levels, may indicate the deterioration of a patient’s overall wellness. Care providers can use this information to proactively alter care plans, providing more targeted outcomes individualised to the needs, habits, wellbeing factors and goals for each customer. 

Whilst the advent of wearable technology has allowed care recipients to remain in place longer, it is an incident based approach focused on emergency response and management, rather than wellness.

There are many examples of this technology, and we spoke to Pitcher Partners’ alumni Tim McDougall and co-founder of Curo who explained, “Curo provides passive monitoring of environmental factors and routine behaviours in the home. This type of passive monitoring technology provides families with real-time information enabling peace of mind, and care providers analytics, facilitating more targeted care outcomes. It’s clear that passive monitoring technology enables a level of individualised planning and care previously unseen in the care industry. 

”In addition to the obvious competitive advantage, passive monitoring technology enables care providers with information and analytics, to more cost effectively and efficiently manage resources, and ensure ongoing sustainable commercial outcomes for their business. Furthermore, unprecedented transparency has the potential to put a spotlight on accountability and drive funding based on performance”.

As this technology is now maturing, we recommend that Health and Care service providers consider adding passive monitoring technologies to their product and service mix.

Charlotte Morison is a Senior Consultant at Pitcher Partners Melbourne and a member of the Pitcher Partners’ Health and Care Sector Industry team.


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