Aging in place trailblazer focus – EchoCare

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EchoCare – a unique remote monitoring system to help seniors live longer in their homes.

Over the coming weeks, we will be bringing you extracts from 7 trailblazer profiles from our Aging in place Report. Each profile includes a flagship product deep dive as well as interoperability, target market, channels to market, success factors, IP and funding.

We also take a forensic overview with success grid and TRL assessment. Here’s the lowdown on EchoCare.

To read the full version of EchoCare’s profile (and much more besides!) please click here.

EchoCare - Aging in place trailblazer
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EchoCare aims to help seniors live longer in their homes through its unique remote monitoring system for emergency detection and preventive care. EchoCare has developed a non-wearable and non-privacy invasive remote monitoring system for seniors and patients. It can automatically detect and alert both informal and formal carers on various emergencies, abnormal situations and even highlight potential health deterioration in the home. The ECHO system is a cloud connected solution that detects falls, respiratory distress and other incidences of emergency; it can even detect if an individual has slipped below the water level in the bath, highlighting a dangerous situation that could indicate drowning. It can detect potential health deterioration by analysing a person’s daily activities and how they change over time.

The system, which is at its initial commercialisation in the US, Japan and Australia, is based on a unique radar, followed by AI/ML engines, and, unlike regular camera monitoring systems, an individual’s privacy is not compromised. This is because unlike a visual image being relayed back to the end user, the ECHO system uses a radar to capture an image of the room that is incomprehensible to humans, yet can be interpreted by the ECHO system to produce information about a senior’s movements. This protects privacy while maintaining a high level of accuracy while monitoring, a single device can cover a nominal senior apartment with the technology being able to work through the interior walls of the house.

EchoCare was founded in 2015 by Rafi Zack, CEO, and his co-founder and executive director, Dr Yossi Kaufman. After his father was diagnosed with dementia, Zack, a seasoned technological executive and entrepreneur, sought technological solutions that could help with home care. When the typical alarm buttons and wearable solutions available at the time were not promptly contacting him after his relatives suffered acute to moderate falls, he began searching for an alternative. EchoCare began to formulate a solution for the home environment that would be non-wearable and non-privacy invasive as camera-based systems were shown to be unfavourable. EchoCare’s first mission was to develop a robust fall detector that can cover a nominal senior apartment with a single device.

Aging in place trailblazer

The most prominent fall detection devices currently in the market all focus on a wearable device, however, Echocare noted that when it comes to the seniors aging in place, individuals do not want to be committed to wearing a device 24 hours a day and are even more averse to having cameras set up in the home intruding on their privacy. This led EchoCare to its unique vision to provide the best elderly care solution that grants seniors independence without the burden of wearables or being exposed to invasive camera monitoring. Moreover, EchoCare’s vision is to provide a flexible and evolving solution that fits with seniors’ stage in life and their current living situation, by including multiple services from activities of daily living (ADL) and sleep monitoring to emergency detections.

EchoCare plans to become a key player in remote senior care and remote patient monitoring in both the home care and hospital care setting. The ECHO system is designed to become a lost-cost solution that is easy to install and has connectivity to third party systems, such as Nursing Call systems or Electronic Health Records systems. It also must be easy to upgrade the system remotely to allow for continual upgrades and the addition of new services. One of EchoCare’s additional objectives is to become a source of information to be used for various preventative care capabilities. EchoCare’s pathway to profitability is via a broad adoption of the system by the various stakeholders, mainly remote home care operators, senior living facilities and medical centres, specifically in a ‘hospital at home’ settings. The system will also be primed to be adopted by insurance companies and purchased directly by senior households, and relatives of senior households looking to protect their family whilst they age in the home.

At this stage, the company’s target customers are senior living facilities and remote home care operators at a business-to-business level. In a later stage EchoCare will approach retailers at a business to consumer level. Current customers include home construction companies, bathroom makers and security operators.

Longevity Potential: ECHO system for fall prevention, health deterioration and emergency incidences.

EchoCare’s flagship product is the ECHO system (PN: ECT1310PC) that is based on a unique radar. It transmits a very low power radio signal into the home environment and receives back the reflected signal to capture movement within that room, the device will process and send that information through the ECHO cloud to alert the care giver to any movement or lack of movement the system has monitored. It continuously tracks five essential body indicators:

1. An individual’s location
2. An individual’s posture
3. Motion in the room
4. An individual’s respiration profile
5. Heart rate

These essential body indicators are tracked and, using AI engines, abnormal to emergency level situations can be identified; for example, the system can detect an individual lying on the floor and determine whether this is an emergency level acute fall or if it is one of many repetitive moderate falls that requires carers to be notified but no serious intervention to be recommended. After installation of the device, it can learn the regular daily activities and movements of the individuals living there. It does this by monitoring:

  • Physical daily activities – continuous monitoring of the person’s activity levels (low, mid, high very high) along the day
  • Home usage – for example, monitoring the persons locations throughout the day to learn when said person visits in the kitchen/bathroom or when the person stays in the bedroom and in bed
  • Walking profiles – how long the person walks during the day and at what daily speed and gait. If abnormalities are detected alerts can be sent to remote carers and relatives, allowing carers to reduce valuable time checking into low-risk seniors and granting relatives peace of mind that their loved ones are safe in their homes.

The device is installed either on the apartment ceiling or inner wall and is connected to the ECHO cloud. The ECHO cloud distributes the alerts and other data to the caregiver or remote home care operator using a web-based nursing call system displayed on a dashboard. It also collects the multiple users’ un-tagged data and compiles and sends this information through the ECHO cloud to be received by a third-party care system or direct to the dashboard end user, this can highlight arising issues that carers may need to be aware of.

The ECHO system allows seniors with a low to medium care dependency live more independently by providing them with a monitoring system that will grant them peace of mind, knowing in the event of an emergency a relative, friend or formal carer will be notified if they are unable to call for help.

This reassurance is also granted without compromising seniors’ privacy or dignity, allowing families to confidently age in place. These benefits extend to seniors with a higher care dependency, and those in full time care, by taking off formal care time needed to check in on individuals, granting even those in high dependency situations, such as with cognitive decline, more independence.

Click here to access “Aging in place” report absolutely FREE.

Eleanor Garth
Deputy Editor Now a science and medicine journalist, Eleanor worked as a consultant for university spin-out companies and provided research support at Imperial College London and various London hospitals in a former life.

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