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LeadingAge CAST launches selection tools for functional assessment systems

October 15, 2015
by Pamela Tabar, Editor-in-Chief
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The LeadingAge Center for Aging Services Technologies (CAST) has released a new set of system selection tools and product matrix for evaluating information systems that monitor, measure and/or document residents’ functional assessment and activity.

CAST’s Functional Assessment and Activity Monitoring Selection Tool lists the features of 17 different products from 15 vendors, including those that offer wearable sensors and environmental sensors, as well as “smart” technology that can measure food intake, water use, incontinence, movement, muscle strength, balance and more.

As science makes connections among functionality, exercise, activity and cognitive health, the need for a central system to collect data from various sensor feeds and deliver actionable data becomes key, explains a whitepaper included in the selection tool suite.

“Functional assessment and activity monitoring technologies help aging-services providers become proactive in identifying client needs, deliver services accordingly, and support and even prolong independence” said Majd Alwan, PhD, LeadingAge senior vice president for technology and executive director of CAST, in a press announcement. “This tool allows organizations to select the solutions that best fit their setting, requirements, and their client preferences.”  

Providers need documentation processes that go beyond mere capture of functional status at intake, especially with the new assessment requirements under the IMPACT ACT. In recent years, research has shown that functional decline risk factors are affected by multiple factors, not just age or frailty. Gender, ethnicity, chronic conditions, mobility challenges, vision, cognitive ability and even nutrition all can affect a resident’s ability to achieve activities of daily living, the whitepaper adds.

The functional assessment selection tool set is the latest in a portfolio of free online tools offered by CAST to help providers choose the best IT products for their needs.