Implementation of smart care technology


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Valkenhof implements smart care technology

Nursing home Valkenhof has replaced the systems at the Leenderhof location with new care domotica equipment.

IQ Messenger is the central heart in this whole. Simac, provider of smart care solutions, implemented the vendorindependent IQ Messenger platform with location determination system, nurse call system, Mobotix smart sensors and door position signalling.

The alarm messages arrive during the day on a Mitel DECT device and during the night on the IQ Messenger SmartApp. With IQ Messenger Valkenhof no longer has physical servers in the broom closet but a fully virtual environment where all messages arrive.

Principles of valkenhof healthcare technology project

Nel Kolsteren, location manager at Leenderhof, explains what the principles of Valkenhof are in the implementation of healthcare technology.

“Technology should support carers in their work, not replace them!”

Kolsteren: ‘We prepare ourselves for a changing labour market. Nowadays, without technology, this would be hard. As a care organisation we are open to new technologies that support the provision of care. We want to take away confining aspects, as people have to feel that they are in their own place, where they can go wherever they want’.

Kolsteren indicates that the innovative technology with care alarms from IQ Messenger will be implemented at all locations of Valkenhof. On the old situation she says: ‘We were working with obsolete equipment such as bed-sensors and movement sensors that did not work properly at times, causing a lot of false alarms, as a result of which carers unnecessarily had to leave the resident they were taking care of.”

Wander detection and zones for freedom of movement

In the past, Valkenhof used a system in which a carer only saw the room number when there was an alarm message, and did not know the exact location of the resident. For instance, some residents call from the restaurant. With the new system we can see exactly where the resident is and analyse the situation with camera images.

Switching detections on and off easily using a dashboard

When the use of movement detection or camera observation is required, carers can switch detections on and off quickly without the intervention of technical support or a manager. After a doctor’s visit it is often decided what detections will be applied.


‘It used to take long before detection systems were used as we were dependent on third parties. Now this is easily done using an easy-tooperate web application. Only carers at a specific level are authorised to work with this dashboard.’

Cameras to make virtual night rounds and privacy settings

To various residents care planned for the night applies. This means observing residents at fixed times using cameras. For instance, for Mrs X three times a night as she would sleep without a duvet otherwise. Kolsteren says about this: ‘We used to have to go to the rooms ourselves, which meant disturbing residents in their sleep. With the use of cameras it is possible to make virtual rounds and see the rooms with one push on the button. We do not want to this where it is not necessary, for privacy reasons.’

In corridors and other public spaces Mobotix sensors have also been placed to monitor when a resident is restless. As these are public spaces, other rules apply here. Kolsteren: ‘For the privacy of employees we had to find a solution. As soon as an employee enters the corridor they can scan a dot, switching the camera to privacy mode’.

“As simple as contactless payment.”

The location manager has informed all relatives and people consider it quite normal. With an out-of-bed message and subsequently providing care to the resident, the employee can turn on the presence light and the images are no longer visible to other employees. Upon leaving the room, the employee switches the camera back on using the green button.

All messages on one device

Instead of several devices, carers now only have a smartphone to receive all calls.

Phone calls, care messages, calamities: it is all possible on the same device with IQ Messenger. Per type of message you can see what priority applies. This is easily settable for managers. If it is disturbing that messages come in because you are calling a doctor, a “busy mode” is available that is turned off automatically.

Valkenhof did not want to make disinvestments and wanted to keep existing hardware, and therefore chose to continue using Mitel DECT handsets with textual messages in the day situation. This is possible with the vendor-independent alarm platform of IQ Messenger. Messages go to smartphones from the early evening onward.

‘Eventually we also want to use smartphones during the day. If residents now sleep longer during the day or go to bed early, we receive a message on the existing Mitel DECT devices. But we cannot see what is going on. Step by step, the handsets will be replaced by smartphones.’

Assign alarms quickly and simply

It is also possible to set for what departments you will receive messages. If Valkenhof connects more buildings in the future, this will be convenient. ‘In that case we will log in by name instead or by function to see which employee is responsible for which alarms’, says Kolsteren.

Devices that do not work anymore can be replaced quickly. Download the app and simply log in on another device. The use of smartphones is ideal, for in case of Wi-Fi failure there is always 4G as a backup.

Getting used to a new healthcare technology system

Kolsteren finds it a challenge to introduce carers to a new system: ‘The system must be flexible and easy or carers will pull out.’

“It must be just as simple to operate as, for instance, the Facebook application or WhatsApp. We see this simplicity in the IQ Messenger applications.”

For a good application of the new system in practice and to allow carers to slowly get used, several meetings have been organised.

Kolsteren: ‘To train carers we organised two meetings. The training session went very smoothly. In addition, we planned open visiting hours so they could ask questions,’

If Wi-Fi network fails

A Wi-Fi malfunction does not mean the entire system is down.

Kolsteren says about this: ‘If the Wi-Fi network fails, we can still see messages. We do this on a special box in the building on which messages of residents are still visible because they communicate over a different infrastructure.’

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