With the wave of the baby boomers on the horizon, demand for new technology in Senior Living communities will continue to rise. The increased demand, combined with a desire to improve the lives of residents, motivates Senior Technology Designer Patrick Mahoney to create incredible environments through technology design. Learn more about his inspiration and the latest technology trends:
What inspires your work?
I’m inspired by improving the lives of residents. Most baby boomers are already using technology, and they’re going to expect that technology is available in their new homes. We’re helping improve Senior Living by making those services available so that residents and staff who want to use them are able to.
Where do you go to get new ideas and inspiration?
I came to Direct Supply from the healthcare profession. I’ve been designing hospitals for the last 10 years, and what’s happening in Senior Living now is really what happened in healthcare seven or eight years ago. I’m seeing a similar migration of things like electronic health records, enhanced video surveillance and integrated hardware.
How has your background influenced your work?
I’m bringing a background in industry standards to what we’re doing. I help our designs meet the standards, and I write standards! As the chair of the BICSI Information Transport Systems Design and Implementation Standard for Healthcare Institutions Committee, I help write the design manuals for our industry.
Aligning with industry standards is going to make us more efficient and will improve the information we provide to installers so systems function better and meet the needs of our clients. For example, we’re working on a sequence of operations for installing doors. Sometimes installers set things up differently. By giving them specific directions on how to install each piece of technology, like intercoms, wander management systems and electronic hardware, systems will function the same way on each door.
What’s trending in Senior Living technology design?
Services that can help staff simplify their functions and make day-to-day operations flow more smoothly. Many of our systems are now going to mobile devices, and that will save the staff a lot of time and effort. One example is an intercom system that reports to staff members’ phones. Instead of answering the door when the doorbell rings, they’ll be able to see a video of who’s standing at the door on their mobile device.
Why are more and more communities adopting new technologies?
There are two things. One is the demand from the residents. They expect the same or better technology than what they’ve had in their homes. Or the resident’s family expects to be able to use technology when they come to visit. The second is making life easier for staff. Anything we can do to help communities retain staff and drive efficiency is particularly desirable right now given challenges in the labor market for care providers.
What do you think the future of Senior Living technology design looks like?
There’s a new technology called 5G, and it’ll be a big revolution because it’ll be at least 10 times faster than current 4G networks. It’s being rolled out for cell phones right now, and it’ll have a big influence on Senior Living because it will greatly improve how connected devices function throughout the building. With 5G, you’ll have the same speed on your phone as you do on your desktop computer that’s plugged into the network. The ability to wirelessly share data will bring to life new applications that don’t exist now or are seldom used.
With an array of industry experience and an eye for future trends, Patrick works with communities nationwide to expand their technology to meet the needs of residents and staff. Learn more about technology design in new construction projects or contact us today for a free consultation.