Under the Nobi lamp with… Niels Avonds
In our ‘Under the Nobi lamp with…’ column, Nobi likes to put all our valuable team members in the spotlight. Today Nobi proudly presents: Niels, head of software at Nobi.
What does your average day look like?
I’m responsible for all the software that runs on the lamp and for part of the software that runs in the cloud. That means I develop the software that detects falls, but I also do the follow-up calls and collect feedback. Even though fall detection is Nobi’s core functionality, the lamp also includes other applications, such as a very effective burglar alarm and fire alarm. I develop that software too.
How dynamic is your job?
Very! Aside from optimizing the current features, Stijn (Verrept, Nobi’s CEO) tells me what other features could be useful from the perspective of the end-user, and I find the right technology to implement them. That interaction makes my job very interesting. A lot of attention goes into making sure Nobi can perform exactly the way we want it to – or even exceed our expectations.
What’s your background?
I studied engineering and computer science. I never thought I’d be developing software to improve the lives of our senior citizens, but here I am. I’m very grateful for the opportunity Stijn gave me when he asked me for the job.
Do you feel like you’re contributing to a brighter future?
Absolutely! It feels great to work on something that will actually impact people’s quality of life. Applying technology to improve both safety and peace of mind, makes my job extremely rewarding. We’ve created a product that fits perfectly in people’s homes and allows them to pursue their lives in the comfort of their familiar surroundings. The sheer value of that is huge and yet it’s precisely what we are offering a growing demographic that tends to become more vulnerable as they age. Just thinking about how we came up with the perfect solution by fusing sophisticated hardware and software, lights me up.
What did it feel like when the first fall was successfully detected?
I remember that moment vividly. Aside from being very relieved that the person in question wasn’t left to her own devices, I became very emotional. All of a sudden it dawned on me that all our hard work had really paid off. One day, Nobi might make a similar difference in the life on someone I know. My grandparents, for instance. For now, they are still very independent, but you never know what the future might have in store for them. I dread the thought, but if ever one of them ends up alone, I would really want Nobi to watch him or her.
Why is Nobi such a powerhouse for talent?
First of all, it’s just a great place to work. The job comes with a high level of responsibility, which is a reflection of our ambitions. Making your mark on the future of healthcare isn’t something we take lightly, so everyone’s contribution to the company is treated with reverence. And when your expertise is put in the spotlight, you cannot help but shine.
What does that mean for you?
Knowing a different level of health care might not be light years away, fills us all with a tremendous sense of satisfaction. But what makes it so exciting for me as a developer is that I get to work on a completely new product. Also, I don’t have to figure out a way to work around an outdated system as I can start from scratch. That’s really exciting and unique. I get to develop the software required to be the beacon of light the elderly rely on.
Do you feel you are shaping your own future as well as impacting the lives of the people who are currently already using Nobi?
Yes, without a shadow of a doubt. But I’m also pretty focused on developing the best possible device that will keep our senior citizens safe as long as possible. My sights are set on making sure the right switch goes on when it’s supposed to, without being too blindsided by the allure of the bigger picture. For now I’m just really proud of being a part of such a wonderful team that’s spearheading a radically different understanding of health care.
Shine your light on the rest of our team!
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.