CES 2015: Connected Hardware Keeping Elderly in Touch with Family and Caregivers
OnKöl connected home offers remote communication for health stats, medical data, emergency alerts and more
Our connected smart homes are spanning across zip codes and getting even smarter. While it is possible to control the music, lighting and more in our own living rooms from the bedroom, we can also control the home of our loved ones from afar. An innovative health monitoring hardware collects data, sends reminders and detects movement of elderly or special needs individuals so families can stay connected via text or email.
OnKol is a hardware that combines wellness and design: an elegant, wooden box rests nicely on the bedside table and syncs up remotely to an accompanying app. OnKol links to almost all health monitoring systems in the home so that you and your Grandma can keep tabs on vital signs from heart-rate to blood pressure. Loved ones can even detect when Grandma has gotten out of bed in the morning, allowing them to be alert and on-call if any problems arise throughout the day without having to interrupt their regular schedule to check in.
OnKol syncs up to home monitoring systems such as bed pressure, smoke and motion detectors, as well as logs hard data about the owner’s health stats. Reminders can be set to provide reminders to take daily medication or attend to doctor’s appointments. Notifications can be configured to text or email specific people within the “circle of care” to segment the type and amount of information that is received. This way, the family member best suited for the task can administrate where necessary.
OnKol offers a more affordable solution to false emergencies that lead to unnecessary ambulance visits and result in hefty medical service bills. While emergency response systems usually trigger third-party alerts before notifying the family, OnKol can ping family members that immediate attention is necessary and allow them to choose the best course of action. In the case that messages are not attended to, OnKol will connect to an emergency response operator.
OnKol also empowers elderly persons who want to live independent to their caregivers without having to rely upon other people for help. The hardware can be configured remotely by the caregiver to ease the technological barriers that might exist. Family members can track incoming and outgoing calls to the home without being invasive; the hardware logs if it’s the Doctor or the telemarketer attempting to reach your loved one.
The adoption of such smart home practices will provide more affordable and easy-to-use monitoring system. OnKol was created as an alternative to expensive, complex medical operators, and its development focuses on simplicity and functionality for a reliable communication network between seniors and their family. This innovation within the connected home ensures that families are aware of their loved one’s health conditions — without having to be physically present.
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