ZTE Corporation, a major international provider of telecommunications, enterprise and consumer technology solutions for the Mobile Internet, and the City of Dusseldorf’s Health Department, today announced the successful completion of their joint eHealthcare pilot project. Both partners have tested the use of digital technologies for preventive healthcare in senior residences of AWO (Arbeiterwohlfahrt) Dusseldorf with 10 voluntary participants. As a result, the eHealthcare solution has been rated as extremely helpful by the participants, caregivers and family members, giving older people the confidence to remain longer in the familiar surroundings of their own homes.
Dusseldorf is committed to healthcare
The city of Dusseldorf has pioneered the introduction of Smart City technologies and relies on smart solutions especially when it comes to healthcare. For this reason, it decided to start an eHealthcare pilot project last year at CeBIT 2016, which was designed to examine the feasibility, acceptance and benefit of digital technologies in providing healthcare services for senior citizens who live alone.
“The pilot project has demonstrated in an impressive manner how we can actually improve the living situation of older people with smart technology. Without the help of digital technologies, we will not be able to cope with the challenges of demographic change. Moreover, Dusseldorf wants to be at the forefront of digital solutions in the field of health,” explains Prof. Dr. Meyer-Falcke, Head of the Health Department and Councillor of the city of Dusseldorf.
As part of the eHealthcare pilot project, the weCare solution from ZTE was installed in 10 senior residences of AWO. The system is based on a number of small, unobtrusive sensors and an intelligent analysis platform which enables carers to keep an eye on older family members and friends through passive monitoring and without the use of cameras. Relatives and caregivers are informed about the current well-being of the older person via the weCare Pro smart phone app and are able to take preventive measures if required.
A consistently positive experience
The solution received a positive rating by the male and female participants who were between 75 and 90 years old. Overall, it was found that most of the older persons felt safer with the ZTE weCare solution and were also confident that their caregivers and relatives were provided with better information about their state of health. The fact that the installed sensors were not considered to be an inconvenience and were sometimes not even noticed at all was also highlighted as a positive feature.
Family members were also positive about the ZTE’s eHealthcare solution. The easy handling, the daily overview as well as the status messages they received via the app were considered important and helpful. “The trend analysis of the app showed me that my mother slept less. When looking into the individual measured values, I noticed that the mattress sensor was detecting an irregular heart rate during the night. As a result, we decided to move forward her appointment with the cardiologist,” explained the son of an 87-year old participant.
“We consider digital trend analyses to be an important indicator for the health of the people we care for,” says Juergen Jansen, Managing Director of AWO VITA GmbH in Dusseldorf. “The system is very helpful and shows us every day which of our seniors should get closer attention. We would like to see that such systems were supported by allowances from the health insurance companies.”