A new care-tech venture which is transforming care technology to ensure seniors have a sustained quality of life.
ESTnet Members of the Month Tendertec, are developing personalised room sensing technology that cares to keep seniors independent and worry-free at home giving their families a peace of mind that if harmful incidents happen, they won’t go unnoticed.
Living hours away from home and having experienced first-hand the impact falls and ineffective fall detection technology has on the health and wallet of senior fallers and their families, Tendertec ‘s founders, Dr. Afroditi Maria Konidari and Rui Zhang, developed a personalised room sensor for seniors to automatically alert their care providers in an emergency such as a fall without any user engagement.
Afroditi says the inspiration for Tendertec stemmed partly from the incident her grandmother experienced:
“My grandmother, 74 years old at the time, was living alone at her own home and in relatively good health. As she was getting ready to go to bed she lost her balance and ended up on floor. Unable to get up again or reach her pendant alarm she had just placed on her bedside, she spent the night on the floor. She was lucky enough not to get injured and to have my mom pay her a scheduled visit the next morning, otherwise she could have laid there for days. Due to the prolonged period on the floor she developed pressure sores and pneumonia, entering a downward spiral with her health after that. That incident made me think that there must be a better way for seniors to be able to get help than pendant alarms which rely on senior users to wear them 24/7”.
Afroditi’s grandmother is not the exception. Falls are the most frequent and lethal type of accident in seniors aged 65+ affecting 1 in 3 seniors in the UK every year.
Rui was already working for 7 years in the telehealthcare field at the time, developing IT solutions improving the eﬃciency of social and health care delivery in the UK. Working with seniors and the care industry, he had heard too often too many stories of how existing care technology is failing seniors and carer providers alike.
“Over the years, I had heard numerous stories of wearables and furniture sensors creating more problems than they solve even when an emergency such as a fall had not taken place. For example, seniors forgetting to remove wearables during sleep or taking longer to return to their bed equipped with pressure sensors after getting up to visit the bathroom. As a result, false alarms were generated in the middle of the night and their family members and emergency services would be alerted causing panic among the family and adding burden to the overstretched public services. In the end, such incidents would lead seniors to ask for such technologies to be removed from their home.”
In 2017, Rui and Afroditi decided to go back to the drawing board and work alongside senior citizens to reimagine care technology in the 21st century.
“What makes us different is that we have been developing our technology with senior users and carers participating at every stage from research to deployment to create products users love and accept in their lives. Tendertec’s technology does not require any user engagement or lifestyle change from the side of users; you don’t need to wear anything or change your routine. You just fit our sensor and forget about it, knowing that it’s always on for you to rely upon.”
Tendertec has been trialling its technology in two supported living sites in the UK and is one of the 20 startups selected across Europe to join GE Healthcare’s Health Venture Lab where they are working on developing and validating their market in Europe.
Tendertec is looking for care and housing providers to test their technology.
If you’d like to take part, please email Tendertec at firstname.lastname@example.org .
For more details about Tendertec and how they could help you, visit https://tendertec.co.uk
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