By Brandon Roscoe
Vice President of Information Technology, Rainbow Rehabilitation Centers
Constant evolution in technology is changing the way we communicate with others, control our environment, and experience freedom in our lives. Rainbow Rehabilitation Centers is using the latest in assistive technology to fulfill our mission of inspiring the people we serve to reach their greatest potential. At Rainbow’s newest facility in Southfield, MI, a combination of commercial grade and leading edge consumer technology platforms enable us to fulfill this mission and achieve positive outcomes.
Smart Speaker Devices
Today’s consumer market is flush with smart speaker systems. Products like Amazon Echo, Google Home, and others make headlines every day for interesting ways they can help or add value to people’s lives. These smart speaker devices are voice activated and hands-free. In addition, these devices were created with universal design in mind, so they are highly available and easy to use.
At Rainbow’s Southfield Center, we use these consumer platforms to help clients interact with their environment, control their personal entertainment, and communicate with family and friends.
What can these smart devices do when used as assistive technology in a rehabilitation environment?
Environmental control features
- Control lighting
- Change room temperature
- Adjust window blinds
Entertainment control features
- Control TVs and the ability to watch movies
- Facilitate online shopping
- Read books or listen to music
Communication facilitation features
- Text messaging with friends and family
- Make and receive phone calls
- Video conferencing
Smart Device-Enabled Nurse Call
Another example of this type of technology platform is the smart device-enabled nurse call system. Rainbow has partnered with ASCOM, a leader in mobile clinical care management, to implement the MYCO 2 smart device platform. In addition to traditional nurse call functionality, the heart of this platform is smartphone looking devices that act as the mobile hub for communication in the center. Caregivers use these devices to connect with colleagues, security systems, pharmacies, porters, cleaners, and traditional nurse call systems. The MYCO 2 platform combines data from all of these sources and helps staff make good decisions in an expeditious manner.
The integrations of these smart devices have additional benefits to direct care teams and clients. These include:
- The capability to receive alerts, patient information, and patient voice calls directly on a personal handset.
- The use of software automation to complete tasks without interruptions, especially where it turns out another staff member has already responded to the client call or actionable event.
- Giving staff the opportunity to work in an environment where information comes directly to them so they don’t have to get it from disperse locations.
The platform’s built in analytics and reporting also provides real time data that gives insight into where caregivers are spending their time and how well our clients’ needs are being met by the organization. This technology allows us to spend more time with our clients, to be more responsive to their needs, and to be more accountable for their care.
The goal of these assistive devices is to give greater independence, a better quality of life, and more direct control to our clients and their families. To most consumers, the concept of having connected smart devices in the home is either really cool or a curious novelty, but when viewed through a rehabilitative lens they can provide tremendous quality of life advantages and rehabilitation tools for clients with disabilities of many kinds.
If you would like to tour Rainbow’s Southfield Center, please give us a call at 800.968.6644!