Meet Christian Geisselmann: Business Development Manager in the UK
What’s your background, Christian?
Historically, I was a commissioner and a provider of health and social care services and assisted living services here in the UK. So my background for the last 25 years has been a mix of both strategic and operational services.
What brought you to Nobi?
About 9 years ago I was thrown into a consultancy project around assisted technology. One of the things that dawned on me was that telecare – which is the term we use here in the UK to refer to remote care for elderly and physically less able people – hadn’t really changed in 15 years prior to when I was commissioning services. So that made me think about what is available here for older adults in the UK. I always felt that assistive technology can play a massive part in keeping people safer and healthier, but using technology that was easy and simple and had the ability to link technologies together was often a challenge. It wasn’t until Nobi entered the picture, that I started seeing what the future of digital healthcare could look like.
When I first looked at Nobi I felt it was a real game changer, with a core focus on falls detection and falls prevention, but with an innovative design. All the other features as well as its ability to integrate with other peripherals, such as opening the door or smart scales, mean that as a solution it can grow with you as your needs change. Its sleek design also means it looks great and discreetly blends into any environment without the need to interact with it, but with the assurance of knowing its watching over you in case the need ever arises. Nobi is the first assistive technology I have seen that genuinely brings design and innovation together.
What is healthcare in the UK like now?
Our services, from an operational perspective, are still quite traditional. The reality is that we are still grappling with transformation, especially the integration agenda and the current pressures in Adult Social Care. The current offer here in the UK, certainly for elders, is still analogue in a lot of cases – not digital. We’re still using the traditional nurse call system or pendant alarm – and putting people into residential / nursing homes unnecessarily. We’re just not leveraging technology the way we should yet.
When will the digital make-over be given the green light?
The switch-over from analogue to digital is planned for 2025, which is not that far away.
In the meantime, we’re advocating prevention, but we’re using reactive technology. Even though we talk about reducing hospital admission and staying at home longer – and not going into residential homes -, the fact of the matter is that in a lot of the cases it’s not happening yet. The technology used by an average consumer on a daily basis is much more advanced than what we are using in our care facilities, and that needs to change.
And how does Nobi fit into the digital transformation?
For me, the analogue to digital switch-over combined with Nobi’s sophisticated technology is a golden opportunity to “disrupt” the way we take care of our elderly. But for this to happen, it’s imperative that our existing telecare model is updated as well so as part of the commissioner and providers digital strategies will be to have a greater focus on the interoperability of different technologies working together. This will require greater cooperation between partners to ensure that we advocate and enable more open protocols and share API’s as part of the overall digital service delivery. Not to mention new models of care and support that can build on combined data sets to give greater insight into users’ needs, behaviour and patterns. We need to look for new solutions and make them work with other solutions. Nobi fits into this new ‘ecosystem’ perfectly as it can seamlessly solve the problems we face in both health and social care, and housing.
You sound like a man on a mission.
I can’t wait to start shaking things up by promoting new technologies such as Nobi and getting across to people that we need to be doing things differently.
What’s your strategy for disruption?
There are several areas I am going to focus on for Nobi. In the UK, there’s the TSA, which is the national body for technology enabled care services, and Arco, the main body representing the UK Integrated Retirement Community sector. One of my main priorities is influencing these bodies by making sure they know about us. I want to be involved in all ongoing conversations about how we’re going to map out the journey from analogue to digital in healthcare, social care and housing. And by joining the conversations on social media or by responding to a call for evidence, I’ll make sure to put all spotlights on Nobi.
What does a call for evidence consist of?
It’s what happens when the government starts preparing for policy change and goes looking for new ideas from professionals in healthcare and social care. So for me as a consultant, it comes down to citing real life solutions and explaining how they can make a difference towards creating greater independence for our senior citizens, while creating less of a dependency on some of the public sector services as well.
What was your first impression of Nobi?
Nobi immediately just blew me away. First and foremost because it is so aesthetically pleasing. I see a lot of good technologies, but they look horrendous. We’ve got new seniors coming through and they have very different expectations. They are not going to wear pendants with big red buttons on them saying ‘I am vulnerable’. The good thing about Nobi is that it doesn’t stigmatize in that way. But then, when you start taking a closer look at all of its functionalities and understanding what it actually does, you’re just speechless. There’s uplight, downlight, falls detection and prevention, room temperature: so many solutions in one.
So it’s on top of your list as a consultant?
Yes. Not only does Nobi sit in a perfect strategic area, but as a base solution it covers so many more angles than any other solution. As an advocate for ecosystems, I love how Nobi brings health and social care together. Nobi ticks so many boxes. It’s also more cost-effective than if you were to make people buy of a lot independent pieces of hardware.
So it was love at first light?
Absolutely. Also, I love how it’s a pendant lamp. We don’t like our fixtures mounted directly to the ceiling over here. A proper British chandelier needs to proudly hang from the ceiling, so there’s an extra reason to look upwards.
Which famous senior citizen would you have look up to Nobi?
The first name that comes to mind is Sir David Attenborough. I have become a lot more conscious of the environment lately because of him. He just talks so much sense. Where would we be without him?
He’s also all about ecosystems as well, isn’t he?
Well, smart people who care about the future can’t afford not to be these days. Sophisticated, high-tech ecosystems give us reason to look forward to safe environments in which we can all comfortably enjoy life and ensure that we have the right technology in place to support us and watch over us for when it’s really needed.
Hi, I’m Ann Van Wesenbeeck
Meet Ann Van Wesenbeeck, Head of Customer Support at Nobi. As an expert in fall prevention, she knows better than anyone how important a fast response is during emergencies. Ann immediately saw how Nobi could help them to live more comfortably, safely, and confidently.
Living longer at home when diagnosed with dementia
1 on 5 risks being diagnosed with dementia in his or her life. Although there is still no cure, people with dementia can keep on living at home ever longer when supported by organizations such as ‘t MoNUMent Mechelen, an information, demonstration and meeting place for people with dementia and their caregivers.