Vancouver startup Tochtech Technologies has partnered with researchers at Bruyère and received funding and advisory support from OBIO’s Early Adopter Health Network (EAHN) to evaluate the Toch Sleepsense bed alarm system’s ability to monitor nocturnal activity in real-time.
Tochtech has developed Sleepsense, a non-contact sleep monitoring device that can be easily placed under the foot of a bed to detect when a person exits the bed.
The system can provide “out-of-bed” alerts to care teams, helping them respond quickly to residents who may be at risk of falling or wandering. Additionally, it generates high-level reports on sleep quality, helping health care providers better support a resident’s care.
Many seniors struggle with insomnia or may be living with dementia, conditions that can put them at increased risk of injury from nighttime wandering and falls. Overnight staff at care homes face the challenge of providing direct and continuous monitoring of all at-risk residents.
Over the course of a five-month pilot, researchers at AGE-WELL SAM3 National Innovation Hub validated the technology’s accuracy in an objective laboratory setting at Carleton University with multiple bed styles and sensor placements.
The evaluation was also conducted in a real-world environment at The Courtyards on Eagleson, a seniors’ retirement community for people living with dementia that is owned and operated by All Seniors Care Living Centres.
The evaluation found that Sleepsense was successful in monitoring high-risk residents getting out of bed and wandering at nighttime by effectively alerting staff, which reduces the need for hourly checks on all residents’ rooms.
“Staff members felt the technology supported their work, enabling them ultimately to provide better care for their residents,” said Dr. Frank Knoefel, Senior Investigator at the Bruyère Research Institute and consultant at Courtyards.
Moreover, the sensors can capture data on sleep cycles, allowing health care providers to recommend medication adjustments and monitor changes to the resident’s sleep pattern. One family was delighted to see objective evidence of sleep improvement in real-time.
The assessment resulted in a positive determination of value, prompting OBIO’s EAHN program to provide follow-on funding and advisory support to EAHN members to plan and implement the procurement of Sleepsense in accordance with provincial procurement guidelines.
“The evaluation demonstrates that this innovative, made-in-Canada solution will help to improve the care and safety of residents in long-term care settings who frequently get out of bed and wander at night,” said Dr. Maura Campbell, OBIO President and CEO.
“We are pleased that our partnership with Bruyère can help continue improving the care journey of the aging population,” said Jessica Yang, CEO, Tochtech Technologies. “The EAHN program provides critical exposure for this innovative technology across the Ontario health care sector.”
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