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30 Innovators to Watch 2021

‘We Offer Information, Location Tracking, and Data Insights that Can Predict Health Problems in Real-Time to Prevent Future Emergency Situations’: Nikolai Stevens, CEO of Watcherr

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“The idea of Watcherr is to use a combination of AI and data insights to create a timely and immediate assessment of health risks.”

Watcherr is an AI health business solution for senior homes, residences, and others. It is a wearable health monitoring solution with a nurse calling system that is integrated with data insights. The solution provides a full view of the residents’ state of health to prevent and detect health emergencies. Besides, Watcherr offers a proactive monitoring and distress system solution, which is specifically developed to help people in distress and to improve staff efficiency in both emergency and non-emergency situations.

Nikolai Stevens (CEO) spoke exclusively to The Silicon Review. Below is an excerpt

Q. As a journalist, I find Watcherr quite striking. From the emotional branding standpoint, it has that appeal. How did you come up with the brand name? And please brief us about the history so far.

I was a trained nurse when I set up a residence with assisted living and this is where the idea developed. Through my experience at the residence, I realized that there was not a system on the market which catered to predicting emergencies in the elderly. For example, someone could die of a heart attack without anyone realizing while staff would be busy tending to another resident in the same hallway. During my time at the residence, a resident drove into the water near the residence. The resident drove with his bicycle in a pond and drowned. Since nobody was there to help him. If we knew the location and received the alert via the Watcherr system, we could have saved him.

Q. Given that Watcherr is a pioneering wearable device for the care sector, how uniquely does it improve staff efficiency and save lives?

The idea of Watcherr is to use a combination of AI and data insights to create a timely and immediate assessment of health risks. This can be done by monitoring data such as heart rate, hand movements, location, and so on. Such data provides invaluable information about a user’s behavior. We know when residents eat, when they socialize with others and even when they sleep. If suspicious patterns sneak in, for example, someone who wakes up ten times in one night, we can deduce that there could be a risk of falling or dehydration. The Watcherr system can also detect a deviation in the heart rate in real-time so that we can intervene immediately.

Our system is not a conventional alert system. We offer information, location tracking, and data insights that can predict health problems in real-time to prevent future emergency situations. Our team is also made up of highly skilled AI and data experts who greatly contribute to the development of a high-tech, differentiated solution that is incomparable to others currently on the market.

Q. Could you tell us more about Watcherr and how it detects health emergencies?

Thanks to our ability to continuously monitor residents and our indoor-outdoor location tracking, many of the most common daily activities can be monitored and result in valuable, informative trends and insights such as sleeping, eating, drinking patterns, toilet visits, social activity, physical and sedentary behavior.

We provide instantaneous alerts and proactively inform healthcare professionals about a resident’s early-stage health risks such as potential fall risk, social isolation, depression, dementia, dehydration, malnutrition, walking disorders, cardiac, urinary, and gastroenterological problems.

It is also possible to track residents, staff, visitors, and equipment to increase operations efficiency and fight COVID-19 due to being able to track exactly where people met with each other for the last 14 days.

Q. Can you provide us with one or two success stories describing the challenges your clients faced and how your solutions helped them overcome those challenges?

We succesfully installed our systems in different residences such as the group CuraCare. Upon installing the Watcherr system, all residents were handed their personal wearable device by their head nurse. The healthcare workers were also equipped with a Smartphone with the Watcherr App®.

The residents were enthusiastic and curious about the button on their Watcherr Lite® wearable device. A few residents immediately took the lead and manually pressed their wearable device, and within seconds, the familiar sound of the Watcherr App® sounded all over the building, which indicated that there was an alert call somewhere.

The healthcare workers immediately had their hands full answering these calls. Everyone was excited about this newly installed system, and the Watcherr team was also satisfied with the installation given the fast roll-out required.

It was a relief to see the system up and running, when just a few weeks earlier, the owner of the residence announced that the Watcherr team would have to make a swift installation due to ongoing renovation works. We are flexible with our systems since it is a plug and play system and can be quickly and easily installed.

However, it was impossible to accommodate all the residents at different locations during the works; therefore, the building had to be renovated in a phased approach. This meant that parts of the building were demolished and rebuilt, and residents were transferred to another part of the building. The renovations brought new challenges as a large part of the existing central emergency call system was located in the rooms that were due for renovation. The Watcherr® Team was called in to tackle this challenge. Within a few weeks, Tequinity nv, rolled out a completely new alarm system. This new system not only took over the tasks of the old system in a very short period of time, but it also fully supported new applications.

The network infrastructure was built in such a way that Wi-Fi coverage was provided throughout the building. All active network components are powered by the battery-powered UPS systems even in the event of a power failure and are permanently monitored and adjusted where necessary. This also applies to the Watcherr® gateways, which, together with the Watcherr® alarm push buttons and the Watcherr Lite® wristbands, ensure the safety of the residents.

Once the installation was complete, the staff at Ter Linden was highly satisfied with their new system and we are proud to be able to offer a robust system in harsh environments such as reconstructions.

Q. From your perspective, how is the industry you serve currently evolving? And what are the trends in the different categories?

We are living in an aging population on a global level, with more and more elderly people residing in homes. Staff efficiency and maintaining the health of residents have become vital. Such a system helps maintain the residents’ health while also assisting healthcare workers with their care. Current nurse call systems on the market do not offer such extensive data which help predict and prevent future health problems.

Operators (owners of homes, assisted living apartments, and so on) currently face challenges with keeping up with the residents’ needs and with maximizing the efficiency of their staff. Our solution can continuously monitor a resident and track equipment and staff movements, allowing less staff to follow up on what is happening with the resident and reducing the cost of logistics.

Q. What is your final message to The Silicon Review readers and to your current and future customers and partners?

Watcherr is a game-changer in the healthcare sector since we offer a solution to detect deviations in health patterns instead of reacting to it. We have been endorsed by international entities that have awarded us with prestigious titles such as the IFAH top 100 healthcare visionaries, IFAH Top 50 healthcare companies, and Healthcare Tech Outlook’s Top 10 AI Award.

The Visionary Leader Upfront

Nikolai Stevens is the Chief Executive Officer of Watcherr. As a graduate in Bsc in Business management, Nikolai Started as a consultant in insurances, leading a team of 10 people. After this experience, Nikolai founded an elderly residence, “Bellevue-Gavere”. Simultaneously, he started educating himself further in Nursery Geriatrics to better understand the needs of the elderly in residences.

After noticing that the current distress systems on the market lacked the required features to grant high-quality healthcare, Nikolai founded Tequinity in 2016 and, under this business venture, created Watcherr - an advanced wearable monitoring distress system. During this time period, Nikolai also decided to invest further in his education and successfully graduated with a BSc in Business management. He later obtained an MSc in Business Economics (Corporate Finance) and an MSc in Business Engineering (Finance) from Ghent University.

“We provide instantaneous alerts to track residents, staff, visitors, and equipment to increase operations efficiency and fight COVID-19 due to being able to track exactly where people met with each other for the last 14 days.”