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Editor's e-Note
Researchers have created a smartwatch app to improve communication among nursing home personnel. The technology incorporates facilities’ safety systems with targeted alerts regarding residents who may be in danger of standing or walking alone when their conditions require assistance. The design aims to reduce resident falls.

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— Barbara Worthington, editor
e-News Exclusive
Smartwatch Interface Could Improve Communication,
Help Prevent Nursing Home Falls

Poor communication systems at nursing homes can lead to serious injury for residents who are not tended to in a timely manner. A new smartwatch app being developed at Binghamton University could help certified nursing assistants (CNAs) respond to alerts more quickly and help prevent falls.

Binghamton University researchers Huiyang Li, PhD, an assistant professor of systems science and industrial engineering, and Haneen Ali, a PhD candidate, are developing a smartwatch application to improve communication and notification systems, which are often faulty and inefficient, for nursing homes. The proposed design integrates all of the existing safety systems at nursing homes, such as call lights, chair and bed alarms, wander guards, and call-for-help functions, and provides alerts to users. Through a process of iterative design and evaluation with prospective users, a final design was well received by nursing experts in geriatric care and at local nursing homes. An ongoing evaluation study shows that using this system reduces staff response time to alarms.

Full story »
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In this e-Newsletter
Tech & Tools
The wearable CareTaker monitor enables uninterrupted wire-free and electrode-free vital signs monitoring throughout the full mobile continuum of care within the clinic and hospital, during patient transport, and remotely after patient discharge. A low-pressure finger cuff measures continuous beat-by-beat blood pressure and measures heart rate as accurately as a three-lead electrocardiography. The technology offers remote display on a secure web portal or other wireless devices. Learn more »

Quick Response Prime
RF Technologies Inc has launched its Quick Response Prime, a nurse call solution designed specifically for modest-sized older adult resident communities. The wireless system can be quickly installed and requires minimal staff training and maintenance. The system uses Quick Touch pendants, call stations, and wireless infrastructure sold with RF Technologies’ UL 2560-certified solutions. Flexible alerting options ensure alarms go to the appropriate caregivers. Alerts can be received from nurse call stations, mobile wireless pendants, smoke alarms, and wander management. Learn more »
Recently in Today's Geriatric Medicine
Nutrition’s Link to Brain Health
Studies suggest a diet rich in antioxidants, phytochemicals, and the B vitamins may promote cognitive function in older adults. Read more »

Progeria: Parallels With Adult Aging
Research indicates progeria is comparable to normal aging with respect to cellular signaling pathways. Read more »

Primary Progressive Apraxia of Speech
Recent research has helped in understanding a neurodegenerative condition that manifests primarily as speech problems. Read more »
Geriatrics Consult With Rosemary Laird, MD
Move It or Lose It: A Clear Return on Investment

It’s budget time around my hospital system, so I’m thinking a lot about the ever-important return on investment (ROI). That endless quest for economic value has me thinking of the clinical corollary for disease prevention. Where’s some ROI we can provide for our patients? Some of the strongest data for ROI I’ve seen lately concern the range of benefits older adults receive from good old-fashioned exercise.

Boost Brain Fitness
Believe it or not, the evidence for improving brain fitness continues to be strongest for physical exercise, even more so than cognitive pursuits, such as word games. The data are so compelling that if a patient tells me he or she has only 10 minutes to invest in health maintenance, I’d say put down the crossword puzzle and take a walk. Research performed by the National Institutes of Health concluded, “Longitudinal observational studies show an association between higher levels of physical activity and a reduced risk of cognitive decline and dementia.”

Read more »
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Other Geriatrics News
A Smell Test May Diagnose
Alzheimer’s Early

A new study shows that older adults’ diminished sense of smell may signal early Alzheimer’s disease, according to an article at CNN online.

Many Well-Known Hospitals Fail to Score
5 Stars in Medicare’s New Ratings

Few hospitals score a 5-star rating in Medicare’s new rating system, according to an article at Kaiser Health News.

Bad Care Leads to Avoidable Deaths
in PA Nursing Homes

Negligence and a lack of adequate care in nursing homes unfortunately sometimes result in residents’ deaths, according to an article at pennlive online.

Terminally Ill Man Says California’s
Aid-in-Dying Law Means He Can End His Life ‘Fully, Thankfully, and Joyfully’

An article in the Los Angeles Times notes that the number of states looking to legalize physician-assisted suicide has expanded considerably.
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