The executive director of The Cardinal, said one of its goals has been to make it as technology-forward as possible. To do that, he said, meant partnering with a startup like K4Connect and continuing to change what is offered to residents.
By: Zachery Eanes
December 24, 2018
Every apartment at the Cardinal at North Hills, a two-year-old retirement and assisted-living community in Raleigh, comes equipped with a pull cord.
It’s a feature that is meant to alert staff in case of accidents, like a medical emergency or a dangerous fall.
But resident Libby Powell has always worried that if she were to fall in her own apartment she wouldn’t be able to reach the cord.
“If you fall in the middle of your apartment you are not going to want to drag yourself to the cord,” Powell, 76, said.
Now, thanks to a partnership between the operators of the community and a Raleigh-based startup, that fear is no longer in the back of her mind. If she were to fall now, she says, she wouldn’t have to move at all. Instead, she would simply have to shout, “Hey, Alexa…”
Since 2017, startup K4Connect has worked with Cardinal owner Kisco Senior Living to make the community more digitally connected by using the startup’s software to seamlessly connect multiple devices regardless of the manufacturer. That lets residents remotely manage tasks such as managing their room temperature, monitoring their health and medication as well as keeping up to date on community events. Families of residents can also use an app to keep track of their family member.
As part of that partnership, the company, just in time for Christmas, provided an Amazon Alexa voice device for every apartment — something the Cardinal says makes it one of the first senior-living communities to incorporate voice technology to such a degree.
In some ways, the Cardinal, with 270 residences, has become a testing ground for new services from K4Connect, which works with 13 senior-living providers and more than 60 communities across the United States. The startup — founded in 2013 by Scott Moody, who previously ran the company that created the fingerprint sensor technology used in Apple iPhones — has raised more than $22 million in capital and now employs 55 people.
“The Cardinal has become a really great area for us to test ideas and to work with residents on feedback,” said Derrick Minor, manager of people operations for K4Connect.