With an increasing amount of elders needing special care, the Danish elder care system faces big challenges. Welfare tech is one of the answers. Suma Care and EKTOS are in the lead.
In Denmark more than two billion DKK yearly is spent on citizens with incontinence, a figure to increase with the rising number of old people in the years to come. The company Suma Care contributes to answering this challenge by developing Wear&Care, a wireless monitoring device for adult diapers used in nursing homes, hospitals etc.
The idea behind Wear&Care is the importance of changing diapers at exactly the right time, not too late, but not too soon either. A sensor measures the humidity level of the diaper and alerts personnel that it is time for changing. The system offers more convenience and quality of life for older people while increasing staff effectiveness and reducing the amount of diapers used.
Strip, sensor, and a box
CTO of Suma Care Elvin S. Solberg explains:
– Wear&Care consists of a strip measuring around 65 cm with a humidity sensor. You attach the strip to the diaper and then you clip on a small box on the front. The box has a data logger and a radio transmitter. When the sensor detects humidity it sends an alert that the diaper is ready for changing. The system transmits on the 2.4 GHz frequency to the local Wi-Fi and from there to the system’s back-end. Then data is processed and forwarded to a Microsoft Azure cloud solution and from there to the care professionals in charge. Dependent on what kind of telephone system you use, the system sends you a text message on a DECT telephone or an SMS on a mobile phone.
Each patient has two boxes. While one of them is in use the other is charging in a USB charger.
EKTOS has assisted Suma Care with a number of tests and with additional support for improving the product to meet requirements.
– We have had to test up against three directives, one regarding medical equipment, one regarding low voltage and one regarding radio equipment, Elvin S. Solberg explains.
– Having EKTOS on board has been a big help for us. They are experts, and that has saved time and resources. Also, along the way we have been able to discuss various approaches for improvement when needed.
Having EKTOS on board has been a big help for us. They are experts, and that has saved time and resources – Elvin S. Solberg, CTO of Suma Care
EKTOS Testing & Reliability Services is accredited to standards under the directives for medical and radio equipment and thus has extensive know-how in testing wireless medical devices like Wear&Care. EKTOS can help with testing and approval of a fully developed product, but they can also serve as a partner in a development process and perform continual tests to ensure optimum product design.
Because Wear&Care is non-invasive, it needs only comply with the lowest level for medical equipment, Class 1. Yet it still has to meet a number of requirements, e.g. in regards to radio radiation.
The Radio Equipment Directive comes into play because of the built-in radio transmitter, while the Low Voltage Directive is relevant due to the system’s 5-volt charger. In regards to static electricity, the standard demands that the system can withstand 15.000 kilovolts, a current that can occur when connecting or disconnecting the box to the charger.
In general it is a good idea to ensure that a new product is tested not only according to regulatory requirements but also according to its specific usage. Although regulations secure a minimum of product quality it often can be necessary to conduct additional tests to obtain the desired quality.
– Besides testing in relation to the three directives EKTOS has helped us with guided free fall testing, says Elvin S. Solberg.
– The equipment is tested by dropping it from different heights and angles onto a number of surfaces. This test documents the robustness and reliability of the product.
– We have had a good collaboration with EKTOS, and we have discussed different solutions to product weaknesses, shown by the tests. This is a good way to cooperate, as you can continuously adjust the design with a minimum of cost.
We have discussed different solutions to product weaknesses, shown by the tests. This is a good way to cooperate, as you can continuously adjust the design with a minimum of cost – Elvin S. Solberg, CTO of Suma Care
Suma Care is pre-launching Wear&Care at the end of June 2019. Initially the company has chosen 10 care facilities in Denmark, Germany, and Norway, to test the product and give feedback before a full-scale product launch later this year.
Find more information of the capabilities of EKTOS Testing & Reliability Services here or reach out on +45 7070 1499 or email@example.com.
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