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Table 1 Descriptions of technologies in each care home

From: Moving beyond ‘safety’ versus ‘autonomy’: a qualitative exploration of the ethics of using monitoring technologies in long-term dementia care

Technology Care home Technology type, appearance and location Functionality and method
Nurse Call Sycamore Lane System comprised of nurse call buttons, bed sensors installed underneath mattresses, pagers carried by staff to which all alerts are sent, and central computer which records data about alerts and resident vital signs. Bed sensors plug via wire into units affixed to headboards, which also contain green, red and blue buttons for staff to record attendance, call for help or an emergency alert respectively. Bed sensors and units can be moved between bedrooms (and would require recoding via central computer to update assigned room number). Nurse call buttons in communal areas can be detached and moved to different locations. All units and nurse call buttons wirelessly transmit to central computer and to pagers. Requires touch or pressure from user (active or passive). Allows communication between user (resident or staff) and assistance (staff). Bed sensors can record continuous observation of vital signs. Bed sensor activates upon movement; non-movement e.g. seizure; can be set to timed delay to account for mobility level of resident. Nurse call buttons can be pushed.
Nurse Call Conifer Gardens & Heather Grove System comprised of nurse call buttons and pull chords, pressure mats, wall units to which alerts are sent, and central computer which records data about times of and response times to alerts. Wall units can be used to record attendance, call for help, or generate emergency alert. Pressure mats can be moved within bedroom e.g. placed by bed or in front of chair, but cannot be moved from bedroom due to wired connection to socket installed in bedroom wall. Wall units hardwired into walls and cannot be moved. Requires touch or pressure from user (active or passive). Allows communication between user (resident or staff) and assistance (staff). Pressure mat activates upon contact. Nurse call buttons and chords can be pushed/pulled.
RFID location-based System Conifer Gardens System comprised of fobs, sensors, pagers, and central computer. Individual fobs worn by residents; pagers carried by staff; sensors installed in ceiling. Records information about resident mobility, including steps, location, and duration of activity. Also capable of recording information about staff location and activity via monitoring of pagers. Data accessible from central computer. Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID) allows for assignation of unique person identifiers and allows personalisation of system, e.g. bespoke alert parameters according to resident level of need. Automatically detects location of fobs and pagers via RFID. Allows communication between user (resident or staff) and assistance (staff). Continuous observation of fobs and pagers.
Activity Tracker Sycamore Lane Accelerometer clipped to clothing or carried in pocket. Records information about resident’s mobility, including steps, duration of activity, distance and caloric burn. Data logged in ‘cloud’, accessible online. Continuous monitoring of user activity, gathers data arising from movement.
Door Monitors Heather Grove Magnetic sensor wireless tags approximately 25cm2 affixed to bedroom doors. Record information about time and duration of door opening. Data logged in ‘cloud’, accessible from laptop in manager office. Require movement of door to activate; automatic recording of time and duration of opening.