News | September 10, 2008

Study Shows Seniors Adapt Well To Remote Monitoring Technology

MENDOTA HEIGHTS, Minn. & PHILADELPHIA--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- A new research report released today by Healthsense and NewCourtland Elder Services concludes that seniors who rely on remote monitoring technology to help them remain secure and independent adapt well to living with the technology and do not see it as intrusive or impersonal.

Conducted by an independent research consulting firm at four locations within the NewCourtland Network, a non-profit provider of community services, housing and nursing homes for more than 2,200 seniors in Philadelphia, the study measured the effectiveness of Healthsense's eNeighbor® remote monitoring technology and captured the perceptions of residents, family members and staff employing it.

Participants in the survey reported an overwhelmingly positive attitude toward the eNeighbor System. Seniors, some of whom have lived with the technology in their residences for more than two years, unanimously agreed that the system makes them feel safer and more secure while enabling them to live independently for longer. Of those surveyed, only one elderly resident reported a concern about intrusiveness. Staff members interviewed for the study unanimously agreed that the eNeighbor System allows them to better assess the care needed by residents, helps them provide the appropriate level of care, and improves the quality of care overall that residents receive.

"We thought at first that adapting to the technology would be a major issue for our residents, but clearly it was not," said Kim Brooks, NewCourtland's Vice President, Housing and Community-based Services. "The results of the survey demonstrate that even seniors with little or no prior exposure to this technology can readily adapt to it once they realize the improved quality of life it offers."

Brian Bischoff, President and CEO of Healthsense, said, "Preliminary research supports that it's potentially more cost-effective for seniors to receive care at home or in their own community versus an institutional setting. This study demonstrates the efficiency of technology to safely and affordably meet the healthcare needs of our rapidly growing senior population while enabling them to live independently and enjoy a better quality of life that supports their desire to age in place."

Among its findings, the research study reported that:


  • 85.4 percent strongly agreed and 14.6 percent agreed that the eNeighbor System allows them to live independently longer.
  • 82.1 percent strongly agreed and 17.9 percent agreed that they feel much safer when they're alone.
  • 92.5 percent strongly agreed and 7.5 percent agreed that the system will get help for them if they fall or become ill.


  • 50 percent strongly agreed and 50 percent agreed that eNeighbor improves the quality of care for residents.
  • 50 percent strongly agreed and 50 percent agreed the system helps them provide the appropriate level of care.
  • 75 percent strongly agreed and 25 percent agreed that eNeighbor allows them to better assess the care needed by residents.

Developed with grants from the National Institutes of Aging (NIA) and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the eNeighbor System uses algorithms to predict behavior based on individuals' habits and lifestyle. A variety of sensors are placed in strategic areas of residences to "learn" seniors' daily activities and detect unexplained changes. These include contact sensors on kitchen cupboards and refrigerator doors to monitor whether the resident is eating regularly; tilt sensors on medicine boxes to monitor medication usage; motion detectors on walls to detect movement or inactivity; pressure sensors on beds to detect when a resident gets in or out of bed; toilet sensors to monitor toilet usage; and home- or away-sensors that can detect when the resident leaves or returns to the residence. eNeighbor's "smart" operating system analyzes the correlated data from the sensors to determine whether the resident requires assistance and automatically issues alerts when the data indicate help is needed.

The research study, which was commissioned by Healthsense and conducted by Analytic Research Associates, an independent research consulting firm in Charlottesville, Va., measured the perceptions of a census sample of NewCourtland residents on a 4 to 1 answer scale, where 4 equals "strongly agree," 3 equals "agree," 2 equals "disagree," and 1 equals "strongly disagree." Forty-three of 54 residents were interviewed over a two-and-a-half day period in April 2008 for a response rate of 84.3 percent. The 11 residents who were not interviewed were unable to participate due to a variety of health reasons, including dementia and speech issues. Seven staff members were selected to be interviewed, with a response rate of 100 percent.

"NewCourtland's input as a provider has been critically important to Healthsense's efforts to continuously improve the system," added Bischoff.

While objectives of the research were to expand the limited information currently available regarding seniors' attitudes toward technology and measure the practical impact of remote monitoring systems on the elderly, enhancements planned as result of the findings include developing a biometrics component and extending the technology to assist with management of chronic diseases.

"NewCourtland maintains its position as a leading long-term care provider as a result of its commitment to education, evidence-based research and technology," added Brooks. "This study validates that commitment and enables us to translate research into practice that results in an improved quality of life for those we serve."

About Healthsense

Healthsense is a market leader in providing technologies solutions for the future of aging services. Healthsense offers completely integrated systems including: Personal Emergency Response Systems, Wi-Fi wireless nurse call and Resident Monitoring for fall detection, wander management and alerting of changes in well-being. These systems are scalable, flexible, and based on proven Wi-Fi communication standards. The flagship Healthsense product is the eNeighbor™ system. The eNeighbor system was developed under the direction of the National Institute of Aging (NIA) and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). The system monitors an individual in their home and automatically calls for help if it detects a possible problem. The eNeighbor system utilizes a series of wireless sensors placed throughout the residence, which capture the occupant's activities of daily living. Visit for more information.

About NewCourtland Elder Services

With more than a century of history serving the residents of Philadelphia, NewCourtland Elder Services operates with a mission to enhance the quality of life of Philadelphia seniors by providing affordable housing, nursing homes, healthcare services and innovative programming that address their physical, emotional and spiritual needs and capabilities in environments which honor them and the staff who care for them. For more information, visit or call 215-965-1915.

For copies of charts showing the residents' and staff responses to the survey or for a copy of the research report, contact Gary Hopkins at (805) 705-2586 or via email at

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