Evermind: Use Appliances to Monitor Loved Ones As They Age
Evermind uses household appliances to monitor daily activities of the aging at home population. The device looks like an adapter and can be plugged into any home AC outlet, with the monitored appliance jack rerouted into it. It is discrete and easily forgotten as it does its job, tracking changes and charting irregularities of appliance usage throughout the day. Depending on the caregiver’s preferences, Evermind can send notifications based on too little or too much use, or odd patterns of use. It might just be the most unobtrusive home monitoring device system yet, and certainly a very easy one to install. We interviewed the team at Evermind to learn more about the company.
What was the impetus to create Evermind? How did the company start?
In Nashville, Tennessee in 2012, Dr. Dave Gilbert, along with a small team of engineers, formed a company with the goal of creating age-friendly technologies that improve the lives of those who are living alone, or who need extra support, and the people who care about them. Dr. Gilbert’s personal inspiration for creating a remote caregiver’s tool is his 97-year-old grandmother, Lois, who is still able to live alone in her own home because of this product.
In creating a connected home, what made you chose detecting when appliances are on or off (versus using sensors or wearables) as an indicator for an occupant’s wellbeing?
We wanted to look for markers of well-being in the way people use common household appliances, or powered medical equipment, in order to create a connection to the rhythms of daily life, providing family members or caregivers assurance that they are safe and sound. Because the Evermind approach is proactive, caregivers can intervene in a timely manner, before a crisis occurs. In designing Evermind, our goal was to make it technologically advanced enough for the caregivers (sending text messages or emails, and featuring an online dashboard), yet incredibly simple for the user. Simply plug our unobtrusive sensor into an electrical outlet, and then plug an appliance into our sensor. No home internet connection is required. In fact, no change is required to the person’s lifestyle where Evermind is installed.
Can you add on sensors to the three? What are the three most used appliances that people connect to Evermind, or do you have suggestions?
At this time, the system doesn’t come with more than three sensors. We found that after about three appliances, users couldn’t think of a fourth or fifth that they use on a regular basis. Keeping the system at three sensors also helped us keep the price point friendly. The most common three appliances our customers choose to monitor are a coffee maker, TV, and lamp. But it really depends on each family’s unique situation. We have one family who monitors three different types of respiratory equipment. Some of the other appliances that are currently being monitored are microwave ovens, toasters, stereos, flat irons/hair dryers, washing machines, garage door openers, lift chairs, and CPAP machines.
Are there additional features that will be added in the next year we should look forward to?
We have discussed adding the option of “a la carte” sensors to purchase for those families who may wish to add to their original set of three. We are also currently testing with other appliances, including more types of powered medical equipment, and are discovering some exciting possibilities with what our sensors are able to detect and report.
Evermind is a great option for monitoring aging parents. You can purchase the system on their site. Special thanks to Dawn White, Evermind Director of Business Development for providing insight into the company.