Clairvoyant Networks, Inc., developer of award-winning technology for remote monitoring, announced that Sumter County Sheriff’s Office has chosen the Company’s Theora Connect™ cellular wearable as part of its new community program called Dementia Recovery, Education and Management (DREAM). The program, funded by a grant recently awarded to the Sheriff’s Office from the Bureau of Justice Administration (BJA), uses Theora Connect wristwatch style wearable to provide older adults more active independence while enabling families or professional caregivers to remotely monitor the wearer’s location, have automatic two-way communications, and be alerted if the wearer exits a safe area. Empowering family and caregivers to proactively diffuse potential wandering events supports the goals of the DREAM program: to enable older adults to live in their home of choice; promote peace of mind for their family or caregivers by knowing an individual’s location with the ability to communicate directly; and reduce the increasing number of wandering incidents requiring law enforcement assistance. The smartwatch-style wearable and monthly cellular service are provided free of charge to those participating in the program.
Wandering is a rapidly growing safety issue with older adults. Persons aged 65 and above now comprise the fastest growing age group in America and globally. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, approximately 6.2 million Americans have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and by 2050 it is projected to double to 13 million people. Studies have shown that 60% of people with dementia will wander sometime during their illness. A wandering event that requires law enforcement assistance can strain already strapped departmental resources. A typical search and rescue operation can cost taxpayers $1,500 per hour, with low-tech operations (e.g., without a helicopter or water rescue), averaging nine hours and $13,500 per search and rescue effort.
Federal government agencies recognize the need to support the health and wellness of a rapidly growing Baby Boomer population who are living longer than ever. Law enforcement agencies can find and apply for federal funding grants through the Department of Justice, which is where the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office located the BJA grant. The BJA recognizes the funding issues facing law enforcement agencies as their mission to provide leadership and services in grant administration to support local, state, and tribal law enforcement to achieve safer communities.
As part of the multi-year DREAM program, Sumter County required a cellular wearable with the latest 4G technology. They liked the stylish wristwatch-style design, as many of their residents are in retirement communities with lots of activities and would not wear a more stigmatizing form factor. Family members or other trusted contacts, such as a professional caregiver, can stay connected with the Theora Connect wearable using the Theora Link™ app on their smartphones. If the individual wearing this smartwatch for older adults should wander from a safe area, the primary family member or caregiver is alerted via the app and can call the wearer directly using auto-answering audio on the wearable. This enables trusted contacts to check in or reassure the wearer that they are on their way if a loved one has started to wander. Part of the overall solution required by the Sheriff’s Office is Theora ESP™ a secure, web-enabled monitoring dashboard that shows the wearer’s activity and location. If the law enforcement agency is contacted for assistance, the dashboard shows the deputies the Theora Connect wearer’s current GPS location for faster response. The dashboard continues to update until the individual is found. It also provides wearable usage information, part of the grant required reporting. Dozens of Theora Connect mobile PERS wearables have already been given to Sumter County citizens with Alzheimer’s, dementia, or other conditions that can benefit from remote monitoring.
Sharon Doncourt, Victim’s Advocate at Sumter County, explained, “We wanted to offer a proactive solution to families that would help them prevent wandering and give them peace of mind. The goal of this program is to help bring family members home quickly and safely and decrease any risk to the person. It is a very scary event for caregivers when a loved one goes missing. Offering the Theora Connect watch as one of our options allows family members to stay connected to their loved one and locate them quickly in the event they are missing. Our deputies are able to assist with fast location and rescue through the dashboard access, and we are able to significantly decrease the time it takes to locate a participant of this program. We are fortunate to have received this grant funding to provide these devices to families at no cost. The Sheriff’s Office shares a strong collaborative partnership with Clairvoyant Networks with a joint goal of providing care, safety, and peace of mind to families.”
DJW (name withheld for privacy), a participant from The Villages, uses the Theora Link app on his smartphone to monitor his wife, who wears the Theora Connect wearable she was provided through the DREAM program. “I was on the telephone and had my back turned for just a minute. I hung up, turned around, and my wife was gone. I went to our neighbors to check, and they had not seen her either. Three of us were looking for her when I remembered to look at my Theora Link phone app and immediately saw where she was located. I called my wife using the auto-answering audio on her Theora Connect watch, asked her if she knew where she was and she said, ‘I don’t know’ but at least I could reach her. She was walking in the middle of the road, she could have been hit by a car, or fallen and hit her head. I thought, ‘What would have happened if she hadn’t been wearing the watch?’ It was a lifesaver.”
Stephen Popovich, President and Chief Executive Officer of Clairvoyant Networks, Inc., commented, “Congratulations to Sumter County for their grant award and for being resourceful innovators with the DREAM Program. The Sheriff’s Office is involved in their community, recognizing developing issues and seeking solutions. They are visionaries in how they support the safety of their residents while providing a technology-forward template to other law enforcement communities in how to address this growing issue now. Remote monitoring is now an important part of caring for older persons in their homes, with both professional and non-professional requirements.”
About Clairvoyant Networks, Inc.
Clairvoyant Network, Inc. delivers situational awareness solutions to maximize the quality of life for older persons and those with chronic conditions. The Company provides a cloud platform, Theora 360™, that uses machine learning, artificial intelligence, and neural networking to collect, analyze and create actionable information. The Theora 360 platform works with clinical and non-clinical devices and can be easily integrated into enterprise applications to provide businesses with end-to-end solutions. The Company participates in ongoing research studies with government health organizations and academia to support healthier living, working, and activity for consumers, patients, and employees. Clairvoyant Networks, Inc., has offices in Austin, TX, and Raleigh, NC.