Designing for Better Care in Nursing Homes

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Abstract

The demand for medical assistance among the growing aging population has led to a significant impact on the healthcare system, resulting in higher occupancy rates in specific facilities, such as Nursing Homes (NH), and an increased workload for healthcare professionals with significant implications for the quality of nursing care provided. To address this issue, the SPHeaD project presented in this paper aims to enhance the nursing experience both for elderly people and their caregivers by providing a wearable and environmental IoT system to support the monitoring of cognitive and functional impairments in NHs. By integrating smart technologies into health care, this research is expected to provide better care conditions by leveraging a novel caregiver-oriented approach and to contribute to the field of healthcare service design for the aging population by leveraging wearable sensors and Artificial Intelligence. The methodology used was human-centered design, which began with an analysis of the needs and preferences of all stakeholders to ensure an effective solution for both patients and medical/nursing staff. After identifying the main issues of elderly healthcare management in NH and the parameters to monitor more, the research led to the definition of a hardware and software prototype, focusing on multiple sensor integration and user-friendly interfaces. The resulting system will undergo testing in relevant environments and evaluation from the entire e-healthcare supply chain. The results obtained will serve as a foundation for the creation of a technology development plan that adheres to quality standards and considers the possible scalability of the system.