Remote Monitoring for Longer Independence for Elderly

September 30, 2010

PACE Program reports annual savings of $1.85 million by moving 33 residents from nursing home care to supportive housing.

PHILADELPHIA, PA --(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Employing remote monitoring technology to enable the elderly to move from nursing homes and into community-based settings such as supportive housing can keep seniors safe at a substantially reduced cost, according to a new study.

Commissioned by Courtland HT in collaboration with its technology partner Healthsense and the NewCourtland LIFE Program, a Philadelphia-based PACE provider, the study found that safely moving 33 elderly residents from nursing homes and into NewCourtland Square, a supportive housing complex, resulted in savings of $1.85 million annually. The units at NewCourtland Square are outfitted with sensor technology to exclusively serve seniors 60 and older who are transitioning out of nursing homes.

The sensor technology provided by Courtland HT and powered by Healthsense was used to monitor the health and well-being of the participating NewCourtland Square residents for nearly two years. The combined cost of technology and staff support for the 33 residents was $288,600 for one year in supportive housing, compared to the $2.14 million total annual cost of nursing home care. The annual cost of the sensor technology alone was $39,000.

"It is clear from NewCourtland's success with technology that PACE clients can live more independently and less expensively than in nursing homes," the report states. "PACE programs that use technology to monitor clients are more likely to reduce the incidence of hospitalization, and use of technology as part of PACE programs can reduce the FTE caregiver staffing requirements."

The study's findings were documented in a white paper entitled "Benefits of Technology in Philadelphia PACE Program" written by Laurie Orlov, founder of Aging in Place Technology Watch, a market research firm that provides thought leadership, analysis and guidance about technologies and related services for seniors.

The study also reported that sensor technology provided by Courtland HT and powered by Healthsense enabled eight residents of NewCourtland Domiciliary (Dom) Care, supervised living in a home-like setting similar to a dormitory, to either transition out of a nursing home or completely avoid nursing home placement. The total annual cost was $229,500 for technology and staff support, compared to $574,875 for nursing home care—an annual savings of $345,375. The annual cost of the sensor technology was $10,500.

The sensor technology in use by Courtland HT and powered by Healthsense was also found to be effective in private homes. The study reported that a NewCourtland LIFE member who consistently wandered away from the private residence where the member lived with an adult child has been able to live safely at home for the past two years with the support of remote monitoring and avoid nursing home placement. The combined annual cost for technology and staff support at the home was $11,100, compared to $82,125 for nursing home care—a savings of $71,025. The annual cost of the technology alone was $1,500.

"The results in this study affirm that Healthsense's technology allows seniors to continue living safer and more independently in less expensive, less resource-intensive housing with a high quality of life," said Brian Bischoff, President and CEO of Healthsense. "The cost of our technology is a minimal investment when compared to the expense of nursing home care—$125 per month per person versus $6,000 per month per person. At a time when state and federal healthcare budgets are under severe pressure, technology-supported independent living is a viable and much less-expensive alternative to nursing home care."

Other benefits of the technology provided by Courtland HT and powered by Healthsense that were highlighted in the report include reductions in expensive emergency room visits and hospitalizations for residents as a result of the system's ability to promptly detect changes in health and behavior patterns that could indicate a clinical problem.

"NewCourtland's experience over the past two years has demonstrated that PACE participants can live safely in the community with fewer hospitalizations and longer deferral of or avoidance of nursing home placement," the report concludes.

For a copy of the white paper, Benefits of Technology in Philadelphia PACE Program, visit or

About NewCourtland
NewCourtland serves as a leading non-profit provider of community services, affordable housing, nursing homes and education & workforce development that reflect new models of care by combining highly trained, compassionate and friendly staff, with easy-to-use assistive technology and supportive services to meet the needs of the nation's growing senior population.

About Healthsense
Healthsense Inc., based in Mendota Heights, Minn., is a market leader in providing technology solutions to improve care and reduce costs for the future of aging services. Healthsense offers completely integrated systems based on a standard Wi-Fi platform for personal emergency response, nurse call and remote safety and wellness monitoring. These systems are secure, scalable, flexible and proven across a broad base of installations. The Healthsense solutions enhance senior living communities and promote independence, safety and health for older adults.

About Laurie M. Orlov
Laurie Orlov is the Founder of Aging in Place Technology Watch, a market research firm that provides thought leadership, analysis, and guidance about technologies and related services that enable boomers and seniors to remain longer in their home of choice. In her previous career, Laurie spent more than 30 years in the technology industry, including 24 years in IT and nine years as a leading industry analyst at Forrester Research. Laurie has a graduate certification in Geriatric Care Management from the University of Florida and serves as a participating expert on the Think Tank for The Philips Center for Health and Well-Being.

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