Navigil enables independent life for memory loss patients in Helsinki

The City of Helsinki provides Navigil’s wristwatches to approximately two hundred customers who suffer from memory loss diseases such as dementia. Customers can live at home, and if they leave outside a predesignated area, they can be tracked and contacted without any delay with the built-in mobile phone of Navigil’s wristwatch. The technology has already saved several people’s lives and provided peace of mind to families and friends of the users.

“In one case a customer left home on a winter night but didn’t respond when our service team called the phone in the wristwatch. The team went to the vicinity, used a tablet and tracked the customer’s location in a forested area. The team found the customer fallen in a ditch. Certainly, the customer would have fared very badly without GPS location tracking,” says Jere Finne, development manager at telecare and wellbeing services at City of Helsinki’s Service Centre.

Two different groups of customers use Navigil’s wristwatches. One consists of persons who are waiting for institutional care. The wristwatch secures this period when they stay at home. The second group is still in a relatively good condition, capable to move about and participate in activities outside home. However, they may forget where they are and require help in such situations.

“Our primary goal is to improve the quality of life for our customers, and we are very pleased with the results of this telecare tracking technology. Now, we can let our customers stay home and feel independent and safe. This improves their overall wellbeing and saves lives and resources,” says Jere Finne.

Navigil’s solution enables individual settings for movement and alarms based on activity, location and time of the day. Geographically, the area can be city-wide during daytime, and very limited at night. If the system detects the user leaving the area or any other unusual event, it can send an automated alarm in a preset order.

The biggest benefit has been the possibility to track the customer immediately and open an instant voice contact. In most cases, the staff of Helsinki Service Centre has been able to direct the customer back home during a call before anything harmful happened and without need to send a pick-up team.

In some cases, a service team has paid a regular visit to customer’s home and found it deserted with all lights on. Then it has been easy for the team to use the tracking service and contact the customer.

“In one case an elderly woman had left her home, and our team tracked and contacted her when she was at the railway station. She was about to take the train to another city, claiming she had an appointment with a friend. However, during the conversation it turned out that there was no appointment. She was successfully persuaded to return home”, Finne says.

In the future, the City of Helsinki plans to deploy the new Navigil Suite. It includes Navigil 580 wellbeing wristwatch and the cloud-based Navigil Service, which provides advanced AI-based analysis of the user’s wellbeing in real-time. The individual analysis is consolidated on a dashboard that is easy to understand.

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