Modern alternative to the home emergency call system: Combating staff shortages with smart technologies27. April 2023 Published by Jana Greyling
Gigaset Smart Care makes care and service more efficient
Gigaset is expanding its Smart Care product portfolio, gearing it rigorously to care services, home emergency call system providers, the housing industry, telecommunications companies and power utilities. The modular, intelligent assistance system for senior citizens offers all the functions of a home emergency call solution and, at the same time, can detect irregularities in the daily routine of people in need of assistance by means of sensors – enabling them to live more independently for longer in their own four walls. Companies benefit from far lower prices compared to certified home emergency call systems and from the convenient Smart Care Cockpit – thanks to the alarm and system management interface, they always have an overview of all their clients’ households.
The shortage of skilled caregivers will continue to worsen: Half a million healthcare professionals will retire in Germany by 2035. That is compounded by an aging population. The upshot: a declining number of caregivers coupled with an increasing number of people in need of care means that the cost of providing care will soar.
“We gained experience with our Smart Care System early on,” says Tobias Hollmann, Senior Product Manager at Gigaset. “Although originally intended for home users, we have now completely rethought the Ambient Assisted Living approach – with a clear focus on business customers. Service and care providers face enormous challenges, and we believe technology can help them keep operating cost-efficiently and reduce the workload on care staff now and in the future.”
A modular system with a central interface
The Gigaset Smart Care system comprises the Smart Unit base station, the E720 HX family phone with its practical operating aids, and the Gigaset Emergency Button 100. Even with this minimal configuration, a person in need of help can immediately trigger an alarm in an emergency – with relatives, friends or mobile caregivers being notified by app, e-mail or a phone call: The E720 HX establishes a connection to predefined emergency contacts. Communication is possible anywhere in the room thanks to the powerful speaker and sensitive microphone. That gives everyone a sense of security.
The web-based Smart Care Cockpit allows alarm processing from a fixed workplace, and makes the work of service and care providers easier. Messages from all connected Smart Care systems are gathered in the multi-client alarm and system management tool. Alarm center employees, receptionists or facility management staff can access client files, alarm scenarios and defined communication channels. This information forms the basis for deciding what assistance is appropriate to the given situation: immediate alerting of the emergency services or calling on the person soon or simply just a phone call to check everything is all right. The escalation channels can be defined individually.
Home emergency call meets smart alarm system
“What sets us apart from the providers of other home emergency call systems is our solution’s expandability,” states Tobias Hollmann. In addition to modules such as the clearly visible Panic Button 100, which is suitable for use in damp locations, or the portable Fall Sensor 100, numerous other elements from the smart home arena are available for Gigaset Smart Care. The Motion sensor, in conjunction with the Universal Sensor at the front door, can detect potentially dangerous scenarios, such as whether a person with dementia is leaving home at an unusual time of day. Or whether someone is not going about their usual activities at home in the morning. “You’re not always able to call for help yourself when you need it,” adds Hollmann. “We have pooled our experience from the Gigaset Smart Home in the new Smart Care solution. Anyone in need of assistance enjoys greater security, while providers of aid services can ensure the same level of support even when they are short of staff.”
Gigaset also enables interaction between the Smoke Sensor 2.0 ONE X and the Water Sensor ONE X. For example, the system detects water leaking from the washing machine or dishwasher and smoke in the home. The Universal Sensors on exterior doors and windows respond when force is applied, such as by someone drilling on the lock, and in the future will report any suspicion of a break-in. This information is also gathered in the Smart Home Cockpit and is displayed there visually. A siren is set off on site to alert inhabitants.
Protection of privacy and maximum data security
Gigaset Smart Care does not need any cameras to detect various scenarios. Sensors on doors and windows and a motion sensor in the entrance area are sufficient. The sensors and base station are connected via DECT ULE wireless technology, meaning hackers do not have a chance. The transmitters use the protected EU emergency call frequency 869 MHz. The Smart Unit establishes a secure connection to the Gigaset Cloud via the Internet – the data stream is secured externally in a VPN tunnel. The Gigaset cloud is hosted on German servers at a site in Frankfurt am Main – constant enhancement of the security tools means that the security measures are always state of the art. Moreover, Gigaset uses only the data that is necessary to provide the service. Sensor data is processed separately from personal data.
With or without certification as a medical aid
With the Smart Unit, hands-free phone, wearables, Emergency Button, sensors and smoke and water detectors, Gigaset offers far more than functions of the conventional home emergency call system. That is why this configuration from Gigaset Smart Care is not currently listed in the catalog of medical aids published by the German National Association of Statutory Health Insurance Funds (GKV). With its smart home functionalities, the system extends into the ambient assisted living arena and is not subsidized by health insurance funds.
“The big advantage is the price,” says Tobias Hollmann. “Gigaset Smart Care with the Smart Unit costs only a fraction of a certified solution, which makes it particularly interesting for households whose residents are not classified as needing care and who are still mobile and want to live at home for as long as possible. The housing industry is increasingly adapting to these people, aiming to provide them with a secure living environment and increase the attractiveness of properties and quality of living. That is where we come in with Smart Care.”
But that’s not the end of the story for Gigaset: The new Gigaset Smart 100 home emergency call system is currently undergoing certification. The device meets the requirements of the GKV’s catalog of medical aids, has redundant power supply and connectivity, can be connected directly to certified alarm centers and supports the Social Care Alarm Internet Protocol (SCAIP). Once it has been approved by the nursing care insurance fund, the device will be launched this year.
“As a German medium-sized company, we see the economic and social challenges in our country,” sums up Tobias Hollmann. “Gigaset Smart Care is aimed at care services, home emergency call system providers, the housing industry, power utilities and telecommunications companies. With our technologies, we help ensure a functioning future.”
Availability and advice
Gigaset’s expanded Smart Care portfolio is available now. More information can be found at gigaset.com/pro/smartcare. If you wish to obtain tailored advice, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.