Meet the company revolutionising the eldercare industry

As the global population ages, sooner or later most people will have an older adult to help care for. Remote monitoring technology offers peace of mind and improved quality of life for the older adult through safer independent living

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Everywhere in the world, societies are rapidly ageing. In Europe, the population aged 60 and older was 215 million in 2021, according to the United Nations’ World Health Organization. By 2030, it is expected to be 247 million, and by 2050 over 300 million. While many older people want to live independently, it’s not always possible in our current healthcare system where help and support only come when it is too late.

With a more innovative and collaborative system, Morten Bremild, CEO & Founder of Anyware Solutions, says the healthcare industry could be transformed, enabling informal caregivers, like sons and daughters, neighbours or grandchildren, to play an active role in the lives of older adults living independently. When friends and family can look after their loved ones digitally and remotely, older adults can continue living in the comfort of their smart homes for longer, and relatives can have peace of mind knowing that their parents, grandparents or older friends are safe.

Healthcare vs ‘sickcare’
“Our healthcare systems are not working,” says Bremild. “They are reactive ‘sickcare’ systems incapable of embracing digital solutions due to inherent and systemic dysfunctions.” While the system provides care support for people who have been hospitalised or received a diagnosis of an illness, there is no preventative eldercare system. Currently, Bremild says, the majority of seniors, many of whom are healthy and active, feel unsafe living alone because no one would know if they needed help.

CEO of Anyware Solutions, Morten Bremild

“In Europe, every third person above 65 years of age lives alone. Most of them have no or limited institutional care support to live independently,” Bremild says. As a result, their family members become their primary caregivers, and they, crucially, “are not at all supported with digital solutions and healthtech like institutional and professional caregivers,” Bremild continues. These informal caregivers are not considered or even acknowledged in the current healthcare system, because their contribution is preventative, with their older parent or grandparent having had no official accident or diagnosis.

What’s more, most healthtech products on the market today aren’t even designed for informal caregivers, but rather are specialised, medical-grade devices, which require an institutional healthcare system to be delivered. This technology, Bremild says, “is inherently designed for patients in the ‘reactive sickcare’ industry – not older adults feeling unsafe living independently, and even less so the family members looking after them.”

Our healthcare systems are not working

Anyware Solutions has posed a radical rethink of eldercare and the concept of digital solutions, particularly focusing on how these are delivered to users. “We do not need more technology. We need a smarter and collaborating value chain to deliver the technology as a value-added service when it is relevant for the user – not expensive and complex healthtech when it is too late,” Bremild says. With its existing patented and award-winning Smarter Living-as-a-Service technology platform, Anyware Solutions is uniquely positioned to capture this opportunity and drive technological innovation.

Redefining institutional eldercare
Transforming the eldercare industry means rethinking the stakeholders of our healthcare system and the solutions available to them by offering preventative solutions to informal caregivers, Bremild argues. Because the older adults are not patients, current healthcare (‘sickcare’) systems don’t consider them their ‘responsibility’. With limited resources, the system, Bremild says, is “obviously failing in the face of known future development with more elderly people living longer”. The root cause problem is the business model, and who pays versus who benefits. Especially when the topic of adopting new solutions and technologies comes up, Bremild says, “Everyone benefits, but no-one wants to pick up the bill.”

Anyware Solutions’ technology, Anyware Care™, is designed to provide a preventative solution, enabling and mobilising informal caregivers, such as family members, by providing the basic safety infrastructure that any older adult living alone should have, which is easily facilitated by the informal caregiver. As a preventative technology, it can be implemented before any accident or diagnosis as a dignified, non-intrusive and non-age-stigmatising well-being monitoring technology. While it does not replace medical devices, fall or emergency call systems, which are already in the market and have been for decades, Anyware Care™ is intended to close the gap and help those outside the current healthcare system with basic, preventive well-being monitoring.

The Anyware Care™ solution is designed to solve the unmet needs of informal caregivers and older adults living independently in their own home. Based on advanced algorithmic anomaly detection, the technology is a seamless, plug-and-play well-being monitoring solution that sends data insights, recommendations and care notifications if abnormal behaviour is detected. It strikes a fine balance of sharing only the necessary data to provide a sense of safety for the older parent and peace of mind for the informal caregiver.

Safer solutions
Anyware Care™ works by sending a notification when unusual behaviour is detected. It also provides recommendations, such as advising an informal caregiver to take a walk outside with their older friend or family member if he or she has not been outside for three or four days. “Such notifications are typically not in the scope of classic healthcare solutions with an ‘alert’ focus,” Bremild says.

What’s more, the room sensor devices are seamless to install for any informal caregiver, whereas most other systems require professional installation. “Add to this that the ambient multi-sensor technology is a non-intrusive, non-wearable and non-age-stigmatising anomaly monitoring,” Bremild says. “It enables the Anyware Care™ system to detect anomalies of specific activities of daily living, such as showering and vacuuming, based on sensor pattern recognition that does not understand or interpret anything but patterns.”

Anyware Sense, a plug-and-play room sensor

In a world where customers are increasingly concerned about data collection, it’s important for any monitoring technology to respect data privacy. Dignified and ethical data management are core to Anyware Care™. “In the attempt to strike this balance, the system offers full data sharing control to the older adult and operates with a logic of monitoring only at agreed times and for agreed ‘anomalies’. When someone is together with the older adult, the system will suspend itself and stop monitoring due to ethical and privacy reasons, as the purpose is not to monitor and collect as much data as possible, but to help create peace of mind and a sense of safety by notifying only when the older adult is alone and no-one else is around to help,” Bremild says.

This ethical data management design focus is one of the main differentiators between Anyware Care™ and other monitoring systems that are currently on the market. This enables the older adult to stay in control of data sharing and specifically define the monitoring scope in the Anyware app. However, this is done during setup of the well-being monitoring and there is no need for them to operate the system. “It is not necessary for the older adult to use the app regularly, as the app is primarily designed for the informal caregiver to receive care notifications when needed,” Bremild says.

A bright future
Anyware Solutions is currently leading field trials of its Anyware Care™ solution in four European countries as part of an EU ALL research project, and the findings are positive. “We are finding evidence of the hypotheses that drives the Anyware Care™ solution design, but we are also gaining insights in new, important features related to the acceptance of the technology, as well as new insights, such as the fact that older couples (not only older adults living alone) find the solution relevant if one of the older adults is frail,” Bremild says. “The ethical data and privacy design in combination with the fact that the well-being monitoring can be specifically configured and suspends itself when the frail older adult is not alone suggests a broader market approach than originally anticipated,” Bremild added.

The company’s next step is to launch its offer in the second half of 2024 in a direct-to-consumer model so that it can get products directly in the hands of caregivers of older adults living independently. After that, Anyware Solutions will close its first partnerships with insurance companies and other relevant value chain partners within real estate, telecommunication and energy. And with the older population increasing worldwide, Anyware Solutions’ sights are also set on the North American market, as well as India and the Middle East, where it is paving the way with its Smarter Living-as-a-Service technology platform.

it’s important for any monitoring technology to respect data privacy

For society and the healthcare sector, Anyware Solutions believes there is no alternative to remote monitoring technology in order to support older adults to stay in their own homes as long as possible. “For the individual older adult and the caregiver,” Bremild says, “remote well-being monitoring enables professional caregivers to optimise ‘check routines’ and informal caregivers to gain peace of mind and help create a sense of safety for their older parent in a balanced approach of ‘looking after’ and ‘respecting the privacy of the older adult’.”

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