The caregiver access is completed using a secure, registered account with the main caregiver being able to manage these access rights as well as restrict or grant additional permissions. This solution allows for a "circle of support", which is multiple caregivers supporting a single care receiver. For instance, you could incorporate children or grandchildren but they could be restricted to just sending notes or uploading pictures while others may have full-access privileges. Likewise, a pharmacist's secretary could send a message (similar to an e-mail message) saying their prescription will be delivered the next day. However, before the message is actually delivered, one of the other caregivers may need to approve the message from a moderation queue. Below are two screenshots we took from the latest prototype with the web-based Reside@HOME control panel area.
When it comes to helping the elderly with their diminishing health, Reside@HOME provides them with a full set of tools to coach the care receiver through their normal daily activities. Reside@HOME also enhances the experience by supporting image, voice, and video downloads directly to the Reside@HOME Monitor. Reside@HOME also supports developing third-party applets using a module framework to add such features as weather reporting, connecting to a family's Flickr.com album, etc. Blue Heron Network is also looking into other areas such as home monitoring, security, and health checks that can co-exist on the Linux-based monitor.
So what's the thought behind all this? Surely you have an elderly family member or friend who seems to be, well, a little forgetful? Maybe they are in the early stages of dementia or some other cognitive disabling disease. They can still function independently, but only if they could be reminded about what they need to do today or to take it off their list if it was already completed. With some gentle coaching, some dignity, and respect, they will be able to age in place, stay at home, at least a little longer. This is what Blue Heron Network's Reside@HOME hopes to provide seeing as there is nothing else like this on the market (and it's Linux based!).
Martin Nagtzaam, President of Blue Heron Network, stated that they have approached a number of possible vendors who have exhibited interest in the product, but have displayed little desire to get involved during the early, development stages. He stated, "Our product does not meet their current business model. However, the manufacturers will start to face a new paradigm when Reside@HOME launches. We will prove that simplicity has become the order of the day. The developing 'Aging in Place' market will cause major changes to the computer industry and Internet provider's business plans. The focus on extreme networks, bandwidth, and blazing processor speed will diminish when high-tech is surpassed in sales by elderly friendly, useful-tech. This shift is healthy. Technology will continue to evolve as it always has, but due to the specific needs and the stability of the Aging in Place Market, a well designed product life-cycle will extend to years rather than a mere season or two."
The current target date when Blue Heron Network will be launching Reside@HOME is in the first quarter of 2008. More information and details will be available at BlueHeronNetwork.com in the future.
Disclosure Notice: In addition to his roles at Phoronix, Michael Larabel also serves as the Director of Software Development for Blue Heron Network LLC.