The "night owl" will create increased security

The key players behind the development and launch of «Nattugla», Stian Antonsen from the IT service, Kristoffer Eidissen from the Assistive Technology Service, Berit Ditlefsen, Janne Haugnes and Annett Fløistad from the Home Service in Harstad municipality and product developer Mikael Johansen from Easymeeting.

Many elderly people with home-based health services need supervision during the night as a guarantee that everything is fine. Today, this supervision takes place by the home care service locking itself in to the patient to examine this - and often this leads to the patients waking up and having their sleep rhythm interrupted, and thus experiencing a reduced quality of life.

- The challenge we have received from Harstad municipality, has been to develop a system where the use of video can reduce the extent of physical encounters with patients, says product developer Mikael Johansen.

- The advanced thing in the product we have now developed is that we have a powerful platform that can handle visual information. "Night owl" as a concrete product is in itself quite simple, he explains.

Safe, secure and flexible

The other day, he was able to present the prototype to the responsible leaders in Harstad municipality, and answer whether what has already been stated as desired has been taken care of.

- For us who work outside with the patients, it is important to be able to explain that this is safe, and that considerations of privacy are well taken care of. Of course, it is important that no recordings are made among the patients, and that no data is therefore stored; it is important that access to who gets access to the system is limited, says Berit Ditlefsen in the home service.

"The camera is not active all the time, only when the nurse activates it, and the app keeps a log of who has carried out the inspection, when this has happened and for how long."

Product developer Mikael Johansen

Municipal manager Rita Johnsen follows the process with "Nattugla" closely. She believes it is important to be honest about what "Nattugla" is meant to replace.

- It is important that the audits are actually carried out. Today, for example, weather and driving conditions are an underestimated challenge for the implementation of a physically present inspection. Large amounts of snow or icy roads can lead to the home nurse not reaching the entire round of patients - and then the alternative is that deviations are registered. With video surveillance, we have greater security for stability, she says.

Simple, light and affordable

The prototype Mikael Johansen was able to present to future users in Harstad is apparently very simple: A camera with a mobile phone and a framework that makes it suitable for mounting on the wall; an external IR light that allows you to take pictures even in the dark; and an app that gives the caregiver - and no one else - access to observe the patient.

- The camera is not active all the time, only when the nurse activates it, and the app keeps a log of who has carried out the inspection, when this has happened, and for how long, he explains.

- The system is based on the 4G network, and does not require WiFi, which makes it easier to use - and also reduces investment costs, he says.

The simplicity of the solution also contributes to the price being low, and although the final cost is not ready for either investment, installation and operation, there is one calculation that is clear enough: For Harstad municipality, the cost will be so low that the savings of one only physical supervision will finance the cost of introducing the «Night Owl».

Product developer Mikael Johnsen (right) demonstrates the prototype of "Nattugla" for Øyvind Arntzen, head of the medical service in Harstad municipality.

"Easy" is a term that is not just about technical solution. Kristoffer Eidissen in the assistive technology service is excited - and relieved - that the solution has such a low dead weight.

- It is we who will go out in all the homes to mount these cameras. And after knowing the dead weight of this camera, and studying the chosen solution for wall mounting, I am confident that this challenge is highly affordable, he says.

Relevant and future-oriented

There is a need for a product like "Nattugla" already today, but the scope is not as large as most people would think.

- For the vast majority of patients we visit at night, we have other tasks to perform than just performing supervision, says Berit Ditlefsen, and estimates the number of patients who require nothing but supervision at night to be around 10 patients.

The challenge is that this picture will change in a short time, and therefore Harstad municipality is working to get the problems in advance.

Over the next five years, the number of inhabitants over the age of 80 will increase by as much as 1,200 people in this municipality. Many of these will be relevant for a service like this, says head of ICT user support Stian Antonsen, who has been involved in the process of developing "Nattugla".

"Over the next five years, the number of inhabitants over the age of 80 will increase by as much as 1,200 people in this municipality."

Head of ICT user support, Stian Antonsen, Harstad municipality

- When will "Nattugla" be in regular daily use in Harstad?

- Now we will first put in place the necessary formal clarifications. Then we will carry out a "pilot", where the home care service will select some patients who will test the scheme. When the final product is ready for launch will depend on how many objections or additional requests appear during the "pilot", and how quickly Easymeeting can deliver the final product. But as I consider it, we can be up and running before the summer, he says.

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