Melbourne-based research and advanced manufacturing company Sleeptite, today launched REMi – a world first, non-invasive resident monitoring and alert system that has the potential to revolutionise the aged care industry.
Sleeptite’s REMi is the result of an Australian Federal Government Cooperative Research Centres – Project (CRC-P) grant and sees fundamental research taken from the labs of RMIT University and translated into a commercial outcome set to benefit the lives of every day Australians.
The Hon. Karen Andrews Minister for Industry, Science & Technology, joined Sleeptite at their Melbourne test facility and manufacturing home for the announcement of REMi and to learn more about the next phase for the technology – aged care field trials and a Melbourne based advanced manufacturing push. (Images of announcement available here)
REMi is a three part system comprising of; flexible sensors integrated into a medical grade mattress cover, the backend platform that then works to analyse the data and the front-end user interface where the valuable insights for the aged care workforce are utilised.
REMi has been designed to enable the aged care workforce to non-intrusively monitor residents during the night and receive alerts at critical moments such as if a resident falls – or is at risk of falling, thereby assisting with their workload and ensuring the lives of those in their care, especially when they sleep, are managed with respect and dignity.
Using REMi, carers will be able to determine, not only the presence or absence of a person in bed, but vital information about their position on the mattress which will allow them to detect signs of abnormality or potential health risks, such as their state of sleep or distress, as well as providing valuable insights in the understanding or prevention of falls.
Further testing is already proving that REMi is also able to monitor more health parameters including respiratory and heart rate readings and these future developments will continue to be added into the technology as Sleeptite continues further testing and commences field trials in coming months.
Setting the REMi system apart from existing aged care monitoring devices are two world first advancements developed in Melbourne:
- Flexible and stretchable sensors that can monitor movement and vital signs when embedded in materials sitting external to the human body, developed by RMIT University; and
- The advanced manufacturing equipment and processes, developed by Sleepeezee Bedding Australia, required to take the sensors made in a laboratory environment and mass produce them at scale for use in the real world.
REMi has the ability to provide macro-data to facility mangers ensuring that quality care can be benchmarked and easily monitored and that facilities can easily, accurately and scientifically provide evidence of quality care to regulatory bodies, government and families.
Quotes attributable to Cameron van den Dungen, CEO - Sleeptite
“Australia has the chance to become world leaders when it comes to increasing both the quality of healthcare provided to its elderly and the quality of their lives through technology; technology like Sleeptite’s REMi that not only supports the valuable care workers but enables them to provide greater care than they believe is possible.
“One of the hardest things for any researcher to do is to find partners and funding to translate their research into a commercial output, which can then have real and tangible benefits for industry. The Federal Government, through the CRC-P grant, has bridged that gap and enabled the commercialisation of REMi in a relatively short period of time.
“Coming out of a dark period in the sector, and following the release of the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality & Safety, reassurance is needed. Reassurance that the fundamental needs of our most vulnerable will be put first. Reassurance that workers are supported in a way that allows them to out-perform any Aged Care worker that has gone before them, and reassurance that facility operators and managers can meet the expectations of both budget and quality care without need of compromise.
“REMi takes the data that we extract from the person, from the environment in an aged care bedroom – whether it’s at home or whether it’s in a facility - and sorts out what is valuable to the user that needs that information. Whether it’s the carers wanting to know that wherever their attention is turned they have a safety net behind them monitoring all residents, or their loved ones wanting to feel reassured at all times, or a CEO, or a board making a decision based on benchmark of care or the standard of care in multiple sights.”
Quotes attributable to The Hon. Karen Andrews Minister for Industry, Science & Technology
“Sleeptite is doing exactly what the Morrison Government wants to see and support - they’ve worked with researchers to turn an idea into reality and now they’re not just commercialising it but looking to manufacture at scale here at home.
“Innovative partnerships like this between researchers and industry are crucial to solving problems and then translating them into commercial outcomes.
“I’m delighted to not just see this technology being created in Australia but to also now have it in a position where the product can be manufactured here, and able to help everyday Australians.
“We know making science and technology work for industry is critical to growing our manufacturing sector and creating jobs, which is why it’s a key pillar of our $1.5 billion Modern Manufacturing Strategy.”
Quotes attributable to Professor Madhu Bhaskaran, co-leader of the Functional Materials and Microsystems Research Group, RMIT University
“This collaboration is a model for deep engagement between universities and industry.
“REMi shows the power of true partnership and the extraordinary results we can achieve through a collaboration built on mutual respect and clear, shared goals.
“We’ve gone from lab bench to commercialisation in just three years – solving myriad challenges along the way – to deliver smart home-grown tech that will be manufactured right here in Australia.
“It’s incredibly exciting to see the sensor we developed leaping out from our lab and into the world, to improve the care of some of our most vulnerable people.”
Quotes attributable to Prof. Calum Drummond AO Deputy Vice Chancellor Research & Innovation and Vice-President, RMIT University
“Strong partnerships with industry are at the heart of RMIT research.
“Our goal is to bridge the gap between research and impact, for the benefit of our communities.
“It’s through these kinds of deep collaborations that we can accelerate the translation of university research into new technologies and play a critical role in boosting Australia's sovereign capability, to help drive our economic recovery.”
Quotes attributable to Bill Mantzis, Managing Director - Sleepeezee Bedding Australia
“Manufacturing is undergoing a dramatic transformation and advanced manufacturing techniques will ensure Australia will be more globally competitive and generate the demand for local jobs. Sleepeezee Bedding Australia believes that companies that invest in innovation, research and development of new technologies and ideas will set the scene for the industry and the industries for whom they are developing products.
“In order to future proof any business, or any industry, you have to be comfortable feeling uncomfortable which means you always need to keep evolving, putting yourself in a different situations and striving to do things that you might not think are achievable at some point in time. The team at Sleepeezee have been able to take a great concept, and ground-breaking research and commercialise it and that is a key element in innovation because if you cannot bring an idea to life then it’s not really worth anything at all.
“There has been such a focus on aged care since the Royal Commission and I think Sleepeezee, and any other companies that have the ability to innovate in this space, have an obligation to assist in solving the issues that have become quite prevalent in aged care. I know at Sleepeezee we’re hoping to be a large part of helping to revolutionise the way people are cared for and making sure that everyone’s loved ones are taken care of and an optimum level.”