Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University have developed a complex algorithm which could be used to help facilities monitor residents. The multi-camera, multi-object tracking system was tested in a nursing home. This system seemed destined to meet the same low percentage as other algorithms, as it has relatively few cameras, which was a problem for the other algorithms.  To achieve comprehensive coverage of residents, it was thought that there had to be an extensive number of cameras, covering every hallway, and every area.  However, this system utilizes the complex algorithm to render full camera coverage unnecessary.

Using the algorithm, this system can track residents to a meter of their actual location with an 88% success rate. The system, which could help facilities monitor residents for changes in activity and could help identify patterns indicating a mental status change, uses facial recognition to pinpoint residents. The system isn’t perfect, as the researchers are looking for ways to increase privacy protection, but it is a step forward in the journey for an indoor monitoring system. The researchers will present their findings June 27 at the Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition Conference in Portland, OR.

See full article at Mcknight’s.

Market Watch reported that EarlySense, the market leader in Proactive Patient Care Solutions™, announced the results of a multi-center clinical study demonstrating that the EarlySense system helps medical teams at rehabilitation centers to reduce patient falls as well as the number of patients transferred back to the hospital. The clinical data was collected from The Hebrew Home at Riverdale, NY and Dorot Medical Center in Israel. The data was presented today at the 2013 Annual Scientific Meeting of the American Geriatrics Society (AGS) by Hebrew Home medical director and study principal investigator Dr. Zachary J. Palace in a poster titled The Effect of a Continuous Patient Monitoring System on Reducing Hospitalization and Falls in Skilled Nursing Facilities.   For additional information, please visit http://www.earlysense.com.

Dr. Palace said, “The implementation of EarlySense on the post-acute care units has demonstrated a significant decrease in the total number of falls and a trend towards reduction in the readmission rate back to hospitals, thus improving the overall quality of care for the elderly. The system also alerted regarding early warning signs of patient deterioration which enabled our medical team to proactively respond and literally save four lives. As clinicians we are always on the lookout for better ways to provide safer, more effective care for our patients.”

Dr. Palace continued, “Patient falls and subsequent hospital transfers are an ongoing challenge for most rehabilitation centers. The EarlySense system is the first technology to help us more effectively and proactively respond to early warning signs of deterioration and potential falls to secure better patient outcomes. We’ve experienced success and look forward to continuing this trend.”

Dorot Medical Center principal investigator Dr. Gad Mendelson said, “As the population ages, we are seeing a growing need to provide safer, smarter care without increasing our staffing level. In this clinical trial, we saw that the continuous monitoring nature of the EarlySense system and its low level of false alarms allowed our team to reach deteriorating patients earlier without creating alarm fatigue.”

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Mother Nature Network reported on an innovative ‘smart’ carpet currently in development at the University of Manchester in England which utilizes fiber optic technology to detect weight and movement.   ‘Smart’ carpet technology works by using a system of optical fibers which continuously stream light through each individual fiber. As weight is applied to these fibers, the light is disrupted as the fibers bend, and by measuring these disruptions in the light ‘smart’ carpet can effectively measure pressure being applied.

This sort of innovative thinking meets real-life application in the nursing care industry where ‘smart’ carpet could be utilized in living areas to alert nurses if a patient falls, or track an elderly person’s walking rhythm to provide early clues of movement disorders.  Not only would ‘smart’ carpet be less intrusive to nursing home residents than other possible monitoring methods such as tab alarms, but at an estimated price of $160/square meter, ‘smart’ carpet becomes a viable option for improving safety in nursing homes.

The Downey Patriot reported the $80,000 fine against Downey Care Center for inadequate care that led to the death of a patient.  According to a report by the state Department of Public Health, a patient at Downey Care Center went into a diabetic coma after the facility failed to check the patient’s glucose level, despite being aware of her history of diabetesAfter 29 days without blood glucose monitoring, her breathing became shallow and nurses could not obtain vital signs.

By then the damage was done.  The woman was "deeply comatose clinically consistent with brain death." Family members had to make the difficult decision to remove her breathing tube and she was pronounced dead. The cause of death was listed as septic shock, urosepsis, diabetic ketoacidocis and diabetes mellitus type II.

That is criminal neglect of a vulnerable adult.