SIOUX FALLS, S.D., March 16, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Evangelical Lutheran Good Samaritan Society, the nation's largest not-for-profit provider of rehabilitation/skilled care and senior services, is joining WellAWARE Systems, Philips Lifeline and Honeywell HomMed in offering a suite of technologies designed to help seniors live more independently and remain longer in the places they choose to call home.
"We are excited to announce this technology collaboration as we engage in this important work of helping transform the way people age and think about aging," says David J. Horazdovsky, president and chief executive officer for the Good Samaritan Society. "We have worked with these partners for some time, and with this collaboration, we are proud to be part of the solution for helping seniors maintain their wellness."
The technologies will be provided through the Good Samaritan Society's new LivingWell@Home program. Launched with an $8.1 million grant, the program is designed to provide a sustainable, proactive approach to care delivery for seniors through the use of innovative technologies. A research component of the program will study the effectiveness of using sensor technology, personal emergency response systems and telehealth services in helping seniors maintain wellness. The first phase of the three-year study, being conducted by the University of Minnesota's School of Public Health, began in mid-January in selected Good Samaritan Society assisted living locations. The research involves 1,600 seniors in 40 North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Nebraska and Iowa communities where the Good Samaritan Society has a presence.
In addition to evaluating how sensor technology, telehealth and personal emergency response systems can help seniors, the LivingWell@Home research also will examine cost savings associated with these services. The Good Samaritan Society believes the research results will not only demonstrate how these tools might play a role in curbing the overall cost of healthcare, but also persuade public and private insurers to provide reimbursement for the technology so more seniors can afford it.
WellAWARE Systems will provide the sensor technology component of the LivingWell@Home research study. The WellAWARE technology uses small, wireless motion sensors that are placed throughout a room or apartment. The sensors passively monitor wellness indicators such as sleep quality, activity levels and bathroom visits - without the use of cameras, microphones or wearable devices. The information can alert caregivers to potential, emerging health conditions and provide the opportunity for early intervention.
"We are excited to provide WellAWARE as the core wellness monitoring platform for the LivingWell@Home program," says Jeff Noce, president and chief executive officer for WellAWARE Systems. "Combining our sensor technology with PERs (personal emergency response) and telehealth creates a powerful solution that is a true game changer in the delivery of healthcare services in the senior living industry."
Philips Lifeline, the leading provider of medical alert services in North America, will provide the medical alert service and fall detection components of the collaboration, including Lifeline with AutoAlert. According to Philips, Lifeline with AutoAlert offers an added layer of protection by featuring the only medical alert pendant that can automatically place a call for help if it detects a fall and the user is unable to press the button.
"One of the greatest threats to independence and quality of life is falls and the length of time related to being down after a fall," says Rob Goudswaard, senior director of innovation for Philips Lifeline. "A study like this can help educate seniors and their caregivers on the importance of getting help quickly, as well as provide support to those looking for solutions related to aging in place. We are excited to be collaborating with the Good Samaritan Society in such an important area."
Honeywell HomMed will provide telehealth services for the LivingWell@Home research study. Honeywell HomMed's Genesis DM patient monitor collects vital sign information, asks disease-specific questions and provides educational content to seniors in their homes. This information is then transmitted to a collection point for clinical oversight to provide proactive healthcare.
"Honeywell HomMed is passionate and excited about the opportunity to demonstrate the value the Lifestream Remote Patient Care System and Honeywell HomMed's collaboration with the Good Samaritan Society will have on improving the quality of care provided to elderly patients in the home while reducing their overall health costs," says Terry Duesterhoeft, president of Honeywell HomMed.
About WellAWARE Systems
Built in collaboration with the senior living industry, WellAWARE Systems continues to advance a movement focusing on improving safety and quality of care for seniors through the use of connective technology. By utilizing innovative passive technology, WellAWARE provides caregivers with a directional guide to proactively identify changes in key wellness indicators such as sleep quality, activity level, bathroom visits and more, which significantly improves health-related outcomes. For more information on WellAWARE Systems, please visit www.wellawaresystems.com.
About Honeywell HomMed
A part of Honeywell's Life Safety business, Honeywell HomMed is a leader in telehealth and remote patient monitoring. HomMed is dedicated to improving the quality of patients' lives and reducing the cost of healthcare by providing the industry's most advanced and integrated solutions at home and beyond. For more information on Honeywell HomMed, visit www.hommed.com.
About Royal Philips Electronics
Royal Philips Electronics of the Netherlands (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHI) is a diversified health and well-being company, focused on improving people's lives through timely innovations. As a world leader in healthcare, lifestyle and lighting, Philips integrates technologies and design into people-centric solutions, based on fundamental customer insights and the brand promise of "sense and simplicity." Headquartered in the Netherlands, Philips employs more than 118,000 employees in more than 60 countries worldwide. With sales of Euro 23 billion in 2009, the company is a market leader in cardiac care, acute care and home healthcare, energy efficient lighting solutions and new lighting applications, as well as lifestyle products for personal well-being and pleasure, with strong leadership positions in flat TV, male shaving and grooming, portable entertainment and oral healthcare. News from Philips is located at www.philips.com/newscenter.
About the Good Samaritan Society
With more than 240 locations in 24 states, The Evangelical Lutheran Good Samaritan Society is the nation's largest not-for-profit provider of rehabilitation/skilled care and senior services. Founded in 1922, the Good Samaritan Society's mission is to share God's love in word and deed by providing shelter and supportive services to older persons and others in need, believing that "In Christ's Love, Everyone Is Someone." For more information about the Good Samaritan Society, visit www.good-sam.com.
SOURCE The Evangelical Lutheran Good Samaritan Society