11 Nov When high-tech serves the elderly
New technologies are providing their share of solutions to facilitate the daily life of dependent people, their relatives and the staff.
Sensors to detect an unusual walking pace, an application to avoid a trip to the emergency room, a voice assistant to centralize communications left on all types of messaging systems… The crisis seems to have accelerated the emergence of high-tech solutions to facilitate the management of old age. “Whether it’s for the elderly, caregivers or professionals, at home or in an institution, technology is opening up the field of possibilities,” says Vincent Augusto, director of the engineering and health center at the Ecole des Mines de Saint-Etienne.
And this teacher-researcher explains that “industrial engineering, artificial intelligence and data analysis can be used at all levels, to improve patient comfort and to absorb some of the workload of support staff.
Ki-Di, an intelligent and connected distributor
In addition to the diversity of fields of action, these innovations seem to be infinitely adaptable. “If the tool is well thought out, we now have all the means to make it evolve and to add new digital services,” believes François Fauritte, president of Kiwifab, a start-up founded in Lyon in 2018 that, after passing through the Pfizer hub, has set up its headquarters in the Paris region.
Specializing in making medication intake safer, the startup has developed Ki-Di, a smart, connected dispenser. “To avoid manual manufacturing, the pharmacist prepares bottles of capsules and tablets that are inserted into Ki-Di and dispensed at the right time, just like a Nespresso machine,” explains François Fauritte.
Collaborative interface and “escape game
Another example of a solution born out of technology, Odalink is a collaborative interface that brings together information from institutions, social landlords, hospitals, etc. “This allows relatives of a dependent person to access existing services near the home,” explains Christine Appelli, head of development at Odavie, the company behind this platform. Based in Magny-les-Hameaux, in the Yvelines region, this personal assistance company has also developed an “escape game” to raise awareness among seniors about the challenges of adapting their homes.
However, the lives of the elderly must also be organized outside the home. Thus, Picto Access, a publisher of digital solutions dedicated to the frail public, founded in Lille in 2015, has launched a solution to enhance accessibility data. “We want to make this information as visible as the address and opening hours,” says Justin Marquant, the president-founder, who has a small number of customers, or 7,000 sites (bank branches, company headquarters, swimming pools, cultural venues…), and has formed collaborations with Google and Facebook.
“The advantage of technology is to be able to disperse information wherever it is sought, to offer everyone the same simple path,” he says, adding, however, that “every technological innovation starts with an awareness, and therefore not a social innovation.