For families with aging loved ones in long-term care, the fear of receiving a call about a fall is ever-present. Ensuring the safety and well-being of older adults, especially those living with dementia, is a paramount concern for both families and the healthcare system. Falls prevention is crucial not only for the residents’ safety but also to alleviate the financial burden on the healthcare system. Thankfully, SafelyYou, a cutting-edge technology utilizing artificial intelligence (AI) and wall-mounted cameras, is making significant strides in reducing falls and emergency room visits among seniors in long-term care facilities.
The Costly Impact of Falls
Falls among older adults, particularly those with memory care needs, have a significant financial impact on the Ontario healthcare system. According to estimates, falls cost the province an astounding $760 million annually. Apart from the financial implications, falls pose serious risks to the health and well-being of residents, leading to potentially costly emergency room visits and hindering their overall quality of life.
Introducing SafelyYou: A Game-Changing Solution
SafelyYou, a groundbreaking technology developed as a spinoff from UC Berkeley’s Artificial Intelligence Research Lab, is proving to be a game-changer in falls prevention. The system utilizes wall-mounted cameras equipped with AI to monitor resident movements, detect falls, and provide immediate and appropriate care when needed. Studies have shown that using SafelyYou reduces falls by an impressive 40% and emergency room visits by an astounding 70%.
Empowering Residents Living with Dementia
Seniors living with dementia often face unique challenges, including falls that go unwitnessed and an inability to communicate how the fall occurred. SafelyYou’s technology addresses this issue by offering a voice to those who can’t advocate for themselves during critical moments. By analyzing over 2,500 video recordings, SafelyYou discovered that a third of the time, the resident did not actually fall but rather moved themselves intentionally to the ground.
Reducing Hallway Healthcare and Emergency Service Calls
In Ontario, falls among individuals living with dementia contribute significantly to the issue of hallway healthcare, where emergency departments become overcrowded, leading to compromised patient care. A study conducted at Carlton Senior Living in California showcased the remarkable impact of SafelyYou, reducing emergency medical service calls by 61% and decreasing falls by 31% among residents with dementia.
Potential Savings for the Ontario Healthcare System
If the positive results from SafelyYou’s trials in California are extrapolated across Ontario, the province could save approximately $671 million annually by reducing falls for residents living with dementia. These cost savings could be redirected to enhance emergency department capacity and alleviate the strain of hallway healthcare, ultimately improving patient outcomes.
Collaboration with the Centre for Aging + Brain Health Innovation (CABHI)
SafelyYou’s success in Ontario wouldn’t have been possible without the support of the Centre for Aging + Brain Health Innovation (CABHI). Through its Industry Innovation Partnership Program, CABHI facilitated the first-ever Canadian validation study of SafelyYou in collaboration with Toronto-based long-term care home Baycrest. This collaboration has been instrumental in bringing this innovative technology to the Canadian market.
A Path Towards a Safer Future
With the potential to revolutionize falls prevention and reduce hallway healthcare, SafelyYou represents a tremendous opportunity for Ontario’s healthcare system and its senior population. By supporting the implementation of this technology, families can have peace of mind, knowing their loved ones are safe and well-cared for in long-term care homes. Moreover, the adoption of SafelyYou in Ontario has the potential to attract direct foreign investment, bringing further benefits to the province.
Falls prevention is a critical aspect of maintaining the health and well-being of seniors in long-term care, particularly those living with dementia. SafelyYou’s innovative use of AI-powered cameras has proven to be effective in reducing falls and emergency room visits, bringing significant cost savings to the healthcare system. With the support of organizations like CABHI, SafelyYou is on its way to making a positive impact on the lives of Ontario’s seniors and their families, providing a safer and more secure future for all.