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Author: Yu-Wei Liu, Yeh-Liang Hsu (2014-01-28); recommendation: Yeh-Liang Hsu (2014-01-28).
Note: This paper was presented in The 9th World Conference of the International Society for Gerontechnology (ISG 2014), Taipei, Taiwan, 2014/06. Gerontechnology 2014; 13(2):108-109

Developing a bed-centered nursing home care management system

Developing a bed-centered nursing home care management system. Gerontechnology 2014; 13(2):xxx; doi:10.4017/gt.2014.13.02.xxx.xx  Purpose  With the rapid increase in aging population, the number of nursing homes and care homes in Taiwan increased from 871 in year 2004 to 1033 in year 2013, while the number of residents increased from 29,452 to 42,6561. Technology intervention for a more efficient management of care services has become an important issue. For residents in nursing homes, the bed is an integral part of their daily lives. As a result, the bed plays a kernel role for nursing home care management system. Working with a bedding manufacturer SEDA Chemical Products Co., a commercialized soft motion-sensing mattress, WhizPAD, has been developed for unobtrusive sensing of body motion in the bed, and facilitates the monitoring of on/off bed, sleep posture, movement counts, and respiration rate2. This paper presents the development and implementation of a nursing home care management system (CMS) based on WhizPAD.  Method  For a first trial, a total of 30 beds are equipped with WhizPADs in a nursing home in Taiwan. The bedside processor that accompanies the WhizPAD serves as an end device of a Zigbee wireless sensor network established in the nursing home. The monitoring data for each resident is transmitted directly to the remote server by a coordinator of the Zigbee wireless sensor network for the data management and service administration. Intermediate Zigbee routers can be deployed if the distance between end devices and the coordinator is too far. Integrated with a care management software, the bed-related events received from the WhizPAD can be displayed on the information board at the local nursing station to facilitate real-time monitoring and alerts, service reminders, and browsing historical data records.  Results & Discussion  Figure 1 shows the bed-related activities of four residents with different conditions collected by the CMS in a typical day, including on/off bed status and the number of movements in bed per minute. Figure 1(c) shows the data of a disabled resident who cannot leave bed. There are intense physical activities in bed in regular periods (around 2 hours), which are actually the care services of turning body over, to relieve the pressure and prevent complications such as bedsores. Figure 1(d) shows a completely different data pattern obtained from a dementia resident. The historical data can be used not only in the management of the particular resident but also for administrative purposes such as ensuring that adequate staff is on duty. The CMS has been running for three months, and the nursing staff generally expressed appreciation of this new tool. From this project, SEDA Chemical Products Co. upgraded from a bedding manufacturer to providing “interactive lifeware” for older adults.


1.     Ministry of the Interior, The resource distribution of elderly welfare institutions in Taiwan (in Chinese), available at: http://sowf.moi.gov.tw/04/07/07.htm

2.     Liu, Y. W., Wu, K. Y., Hsu, Y. L., “An integrated motion sensing mattress for elderly living assistance applications”, 2012 International Society of Gerontechnology World Conference, 2012.

Keywords: telehealth system, motion-sensing

Figure 1. The bed related activities of residents collected by the WhizPAD