There has been an acceleration of tech that’s been evident across different kinds of industries for the past year due to the spike of dependence on digital advancements. Because of that, we’ve seen all kinds of innovations that have helped us adapt to our current situation today.
So far, some have made gadgets towards quality-of-life improvements for the new normal like portable air purifiers and wearable thermometers. Apart from that, there have been efforts to address helping elderly folk through technology, like Sentai. Another gadget that has made its way into the market to help is Nobi, a smart lamp that aims to help older adults live comfortably at home for longer.
How it works
Once installed, Nobi uses infrared LEDs and imaging software to monitor a resident. If the resident falls, the smart lamp asks if everything is ok. If a response is not given, the smart-lamp contacted a trusted contact via telephone.
Aside from making sure that the resident is fine, the creators of Nobi claim that the smart lamp can also help with several tasks. This includes detecting a fire hazard, unlocking the door during emergencies, monitoring burglary, and reminding the resident to drink water now and then.
Currently, it appears as though Nobi is still in its facility testing phase. However, you can subscribe to their page to receive updates on this project.
The case for Nobi
I don’t have any real advice on whether or not you should purchase or use a service like Nobi, but I wanted to get a little insight into the matter, so I talked to my good friend Meg Karper, RN nurse manager at a long term care facility.
She had a lot to say about smart devices in general and how a seemingly simple thing can affect an older adult’s well-being. With that, I asked Meg what it’s like when an older adult takes a fall, and this is what she had to say about it:
“Falls can have a range of effects on a person. Sometimes they’re minor, and a resident can even stand up independently without staff getting involved. But a lot of times, a fall is pretty traumatic for an elderly resident – even a short-distance fall, from a bed to the floor, can cause bone breaks. If they hit something, or come down just the wrong way, you can see lacerations, bad bruising, head trauma, all sorts of things.
If a fall is particularly bad, a resident might end up in hospital – or worse. It takes a team to get a resident up safely. There’s always a monitoring period after a fall: neurological checks to make sure they don’t have damage to the brain in the aftermath, medical exams, and maybe Xrays to check any areas with pain, physical therapy checks to make sure everything still moves correctly or to help build up strength.”
After talking for a while about elderly care and what it takes to keep someone safe when they get to a certain age or physicality, I gave Meg a chance to leave a quote in. I felt hearing the words of a professional RN focused on elderly care focused RN would be better than anything I could tell you:
“While the media sometimes plays ‘old people fall down’ for laughs, the reality is sometimes pretty dangerous. As hyperbolic as it sounds, falls can kill old people, and the faster help can get to a fallen elderly person, the better off they usually are.”
YouTube: What is a Nobi smart lamp?
Photo credits: Interviewee image was used with owner’s permission. All other photos are owned by Nobi as taken by Karel Waignein and have been provided for press usage.