Ocuvera was founded on the belief that technology can help people. At our core, we are a group of developers with extensive experience in the fields of engineering, computer vision, and mathematics. We believe that with the help of nurses, our unique perspective and expertise can improve healthcare. In fall risk reduction, Ocuvera has found a space where technology has immense potential to improve people’s lives, by empowering every nurse with tools to provide safer patient care.
Ocuvera was created by the technology startup incubator Nebraska Global Investment Company (NGIC). Ocuvera and Nebraska Global specialize in building complex software using agile methodologies to solve difficult problems. NGIC shares Ocuvera’s philosophy on the power of technology to improve lives. Through NGIC, the same set of engineers who would go on to create Ocuvera developed EliteForm, LLC, a computer vision company in the sports performance industry. EliteForm measures athlete performance during weightlifting by using depth cameras to count repetitions and to measure lift velocity and power generation. Based on the success of EliteForm, Ocuvera was started in 2012 to apply this computer vision expertise to help hospitals prevent inpatient falls.
Fall risk reduction is a field ripe for innovation, where technology has real potential to help improve the lives of both patients suffering falls and the nurses who treat them. Patient falls are a common, costly, and serious problem in hospitals and healthcare facilities. Almost everyone we talk to has a personal story of a friend or loved one who was injured by falling. Nurses often tell us how stressful patient falls can be for them, both because of the workload they add and the negative impact they can have psychologically. There are almost one million patient falls each year, with many resulting in injury, and some even proving fatal. Despite the severity of the problem, little progress has been made in recent years in reliably reducing patient falls. Nurses rely on largely ineffective interventions, such as bed alarms and in-room sitters, which are still standard in most healthcare facilities. Although technologies like centralized video monitoring (CVM) have made some progress in updating these methods, each has its limitations and drawbacks. The continued prevalence of falls is evidence that additional approaches are needed.
Innovative ideas for reducing fall risk are limited because of a lack of information. Although we have numbers about how many falls occur, many details about their surrounding circumstances remain a mystery. When we began research into how Ocuvera could best help the problem of patient falls, we realized it was often not clear why a patient fell, where they were before they fell, or what they did before they fell that increased their fall risk. One of our goals is to gather this information ourselves to better understand falls and make sure that our solution is based on the best possible data in order to provide the best possible care.
Ocuvera’s technology combines real-time, automated, predictive, video-based, and 3-dimensional algorithms to reduce fall risk. This combination is unique among existing technologies that reduce fall risk. Our system uses these Automated Video Monitoring (AVM) algorithms to detect unattended bed exits before they occur. Our early warning system monitors for changes in patient behavior, predicts when they’re about to get out of bed, and alerts a nurse before the patient gets up. This gives the nurse time to help their patients and stop a potential fall, putting the power in the hands of the nurses when it’s most needed. We see our technology as a tool that empowers nurses to better care for their patients: we are there to help nurses make a difference in a patient’s life.
Now is the time to apply computer vision and artificial intelligence to healthcare. Five years ago, the technology did not exist to create an effective automated video monitoring system. In ten years, nurses will be able to use a camera in every hospital room. Ocuvera wants to be the company that delivers this innovation to nurses. Ocuvera believes in a future where artificial intelligence is used to its fullest potential in the healthcare space, and our technology is a step in this direction. We plan to turn our system into a platform for nurses to know everything they need to provide the best patient care.