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Relief in the care system: Intelligent plaster for those in need of care recognizes the need for help


New care system should relieve the burden on caregivers and give patients more freedom

People in need of care rely on the help of other people, often around the clock. This requires a high amount of time-consuming work by the nursing staff or the person who takes care of them. For the caregiver, but also for those in need of help, this situation can lead to stress and enormous psychological stress. The research institute IDC of the Wilhelm Löhe University (WLH) developed an idea to relieve the care system. An intelligent plaster should monitor various data of the patient and thus recognize when they need help. The carer is informed immediately and can rush to help.

It is currently becoming apparent that nursing services will soon no longer be able to meet the rapidly growing demand for professional support in the nursing sector. WHL experts fear a serious supply shortage. This development should be counteracted with the "moio care" care system. The idea is that in the future nurses can recognize when a person actually needs help. This saves time for the caregiver through constant checks and gives the patient more privacy and mobility. For example, the patch is intended to detect when a patient needs to be repositioned, whether he has fallen or got lost.

The care system is overloaded

Nursing statistics from the Federal Statistical Office show that our nursing system is overloaded and that new solutions urgently need to be found. According to the Federal Statistical Office, there are 2.6 million people in need of care in Germany and this number increases by around 48,000 people annually. Many of those affected have dementia. A number of more than 1.8 million dementias is forecast for 2019. More than 10 million across the EU. If the increase continues as before, the number of people with dementia will double every 20 years, so that in 2050 around 131 million people will be demented worldwide.

How can the new patch help?

A thin and flexible plaster is applied to the patient's back. This contains various sensors, with which the new "TeleCare system" monitors certain values. If there is a concrete need for action, the responsible nurse will be informed immediately. This means that the patient and the caregiver no longer have to be tied to one another in the immediate vicinity, which on the one hand greatly relieves the caregiver's control and routine tasks and on the other hand grants the patient more mobility, improved privacy, more independence and greater protection.

What exactly is being monitored?

In the first stage of development, the patch should be equipped with a location system that informs nurses when a caregiver who is disoriented, for example, leaves a defined zone. This allows dementia patients to move freely in known areas. In addition, the pavement is equipped with acceleration and position sensors that can detect a fall or assess a risk of falling. The plaster can also protect against bed sores. It informs the caregiver how long a person has remained motionless in a specific position. In addition, the patch creates an activity log of the caregiver, which means that the diet can be better tailored to the patient.

When will the patch be launched on the market?

The concept of the plaster originating from the WHL is now to be brought to market maturity via the company "MOIO GmbH" founded for this purpose. The company plans to be approved as a medical device in the second half of 2018. Before that, however, the hurdle of funding must be cleared, for which a crowdfunding campaign is currently underway. There the company would like to achieve 250,000 euros for the upcoming development steps and the preparation for the market launch of the new system.

The project has strong support

"Devices previously available on the market are often unsuitable for people with dementia because they can be forgotten, lost or lost without being noticed and also often require conscious actions by the wearer," explains Jürgen Besser, Managing Director of MOIO GmbH in a press release from Diakonie Neuendettelsau, the initiated and supported the project. With over 200 institutions and around 7,200 employees, Diakonie is one of the largest diaconal companies in Germany. (vb)

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