ResidentGuard tracks senior living residents with dementia

Accutech Security
10125 S. 52nd St., Franklin
Innovation: ResidentGuard
www.accutechsecurity.com

A person with Alzheimer’s or dementia could end up in an unsafe situation if he or she leaves home and can’t remember how to return.

Since studies have demonstrated about six in 10 people with dementia will wander, and the average out-of-court settlement for a wandering lawsuit is more than $400,000, the scenario is a growing problem for long-term care providers, according to Accutech Security.

Franklin-based Innovative Control Systems Inc., dba Accutech Security, manufactures RFID-enabled electronic monitoring and security products that are used mainly for infant protection in hospitals and resident elopement security in skilled nursing and assisted living communities, said Chris Konicek, sales and marketing director.

Accutech, which has about 30 employees, manufactures the products at its 30,000-square-foot Franklin facility, and an international dealer network installs and services the systems. Accutech also offers 24-hour technology support for the life of the system. The company’s patented patient security systems have been installed in more than 5,000 locations, 2,500 of which are long-term care facilities, across the globe, Konicek said.

The company ramped up its customer base beginning about seven years ago, when Konicek came on board, by creating a website, improving its searchability and partnering with leading national senior living equipment and solution distributor Direct Supply Inc., which is based in Milwaukee.

Since 2008, Accutech has almost tripled its revenue and has added four new employees, Konicek said.

“The long-term care market has projected growth of 5 percent (in terms of overall revenue) year-over-year, and has had that since 2006,” he said. “We’ve been growing much faster than that.”

ResidentGuard, Accutech’s wandering security system, was first introduced in 1985. It gives Alzheimer’s, dementia and other at-risk residents the ability to move around freely in their surroundings, while being protected by perimeter-based wander management systems.

It has always been an RFID (radio frequency identification) system, but over time the technology has advanced to expand functionality, including touchscreen LCDs, recorders, and resident photo and name displays either locally at the door or at a central station.

“You can see which residents are leaving at what exit, so you can know who to look for when someone walks out,” Konicek said.

Staff members are alerted if an at-risk resident moves beyond the safe borders, but can otherwise focus on their other tasks. The system also offers resident ID, loiter, door ajar, door alarm and low tag battery alerts. ResidentGuard can be integrated with nurse call systems, radios, pagers, and iOS or Android devices.

The tags that residents wear have visual indicators showing staff they’re active, and the washable tags or wristbands can be turned off when not in use to conserve their batteries.

The newest technology integrated with the ResidentGuard product, which Konicek said is the product’s largest ever technological jump, is the LS 2400 wandering protection system.

Developed by Response Care Inc., which offers wireless nurse call and personal emergency products for senior communities, LS 2400 integrates with Response Care’s software and R-care portal to allow for easier reporting, for alerts to be sent to Response Care mobile devices and for pictures of residents to be included on those devices.

“We’re seeing a consolidation of alerting systems in the health care industry,” Konicek said. “Communities aren’t interested in three different computers for three different systems. Our goal is to provide the most reliable, scalable, cost-effective solutions that integrate with as many existing systems as possible. We’re also excited that our new LS 2400 system has a software/reporting option with the use of the R-care portal.”

Accutech Security’s ResidentGuard wander alert is displayed through Response Care’s nurse call system, on an Android mobile device.

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