For most, the idea of losing independence with old age is a painful thought. Back in May, we discussed the state of elderly care in America. Author of the post, Jeff Renoe, wrote:
“Asking for help can be an important part of living a long and healthy life. Asking for assistance is one thing, but becoming reliant is something else entirely. Psychologically speaking, self-sufficiency is paramount to life.”
Constant dependence does not lead to a healthy state of mind. However, Jeff Nosanov and his team at Welbi may have found an independent method for caregiving--remote caregiving.
When Nosanov’s children were born, they spent a good deal of time in the intensive care unit. During this time, he noticed that it was hard to monitor the babies because the tiny devices kept falling off of them. Light Bulb! Nosanov saw the potential for remote monitoring.
As a former NASA employee, his idea was initially developed as a concept at NASA to locate victims in a disaster. He explained this idea in an interview with Adele Peters,
“It’s just like radar that police use to see how fast you’re going, when the signal bounces off a car and can tell you how fast it’s moving. That’s what we’re doing, but with the surface of the body. As the radio frequency signal shines on someone’s body, it reflects back differently depending on how the body is expanding and contracting with each breath or heartbeat. Because the body expands much more for each breath than a heartbeat, it’s easy for the system to tell the data apart. After the device collects 30 seconds of data, an algorithm processes it to deliver back a heart rate and respiratory rate, and that information is sent to the cloud.”
Jeff and his team named their first product Welbi. The range of the devices is confined to just one room. However, the Webli website states, “In the future, we will sell packages of multiple units to cover the major rooms in a house, but for now we are starting with one device for one room.”
The device will do more than just measure heartbeats and breathing. Welbi also claims to be able to track a person’s activity, sleep quality, weight, blood pressure, blood glucose, and blood oxygen level. Having so much information about a parent or grandparent delivered to a loved one can offer peace of mind that isn’t existent otherwise.
Once he and his team formatted the device to be roughly the shape and size of a smartphone, they were ready to bring it to the market. What they didn’t expect, is how crowded the baby monitor market is right now. The next step led them to at home elderly care. The device can connect to a cloud and mobile app that families can access to monitor an elderly relative’s health in real time.
“A tool for elderly people made more sense as a first product,” he said. “The more we thought about it, we realized that at the other end of life, basically there’s a much larger market, far fewer options, and really a much more pressing need that we could address.”
The elderly care market is only the beginning. This device can stretch to baby monitors, hospitals, assisted living homes, etc. Collecting all of this data could even lead to health predictions and prevention. Nosanov concludes saying, “We’re imagining this sort of new layer of predictive healthcare that can maybe point things out much sooner than you would have because we’re looking at continuous data. That’s the future where we hope to see this go.”
Dickson has a variety of continuous monitoring products to meet your needs. Whether you're tracking the stability of a vaccine, the accuracy of an oven or the stability of a chamber, Dickson has a solution for you.