Momo Medical’s smart bed sensor helps nurses provide the tailored care their residents need

Being at the right place at the right time is something that care staff in nursing homes know all about. Attending to each and every resident when they most need them is what defines their work. Yet, that doesn’t mean it’s easy work to do. On the contrary, keeping an overview of an entire floor of residents is bound to become overwhelming at some point. That’s where Momo Medical comes in. 

The startup, part of the YES!Delft ecosystem, has developed a technology that gives nurses a tool to know who needs their help at which time. Designed specifically for care staff working the night shift, Momo Medical has been able to save them precious time and make their work more effective. 

Pivoting to address the right market needs

Founded in 2017, the startup has gone through a journey of defining and redefining its proposition to best suit the needs of nursing home staff. In its earlier days, Momo Medical’s technology was there to provide healthcare professionals with relevant and accurate data about resident mobility in order to help reduce the occurrence of pressure ulcers. 

“The initial idea was to indeed focus on the prevention of pressure ulcers,” says Jorien de Jonge, Marketing & Implementation Lead at Momo Medical. “It is a major issue, but the solution we had at the time was to give night shift nurses a reminder to reposition a resident. We soon found out that that was not what they needed.” 

The fact is that nurses are well aware of the need to reposition residents, but doing so at scheduled times during the day and night was not always feasible. “There are times when they are either very busy or the resident is sleeping and repositioning them would only disturb their rest,” Jorien says. “So, we asked ourselves: What does the night shift nurse really need?”

To find the answer to that question, the team tagged along with night shift nurses on quite a few occasions to find out what would make their work easier and more pleasant. The struggle was evident: Nurses wanted (and needed) to have an overview of the entire floor or unit, and know who is safe in their bed without having to open the door. 

The team took that with themselves and ended up creating the BedSense – a smart bed sensor that provides nurses with the information they need to be at the right place at the right time.

Finding and nurturing the right partnerships

The startup is currently focused on providing their solution to memory care and psychogeriatric nursing homes. “The BedSense is now available at a care unit for people with dementia,” Jorien says. “Residents with dementia have a hard time expressing what they need and our tool helps nurses understand their mobility and movement patterns. For example, if a person is turning a lot in bed, that may mean that they need more comfort.” 

A recent milestone, and perhaps one of the team’s most important ones to date, has been their partnership with the tanteLouise nursing home in the Netherlands. It has not only proven the importance of their solution but has also meant working together with one of the leading nursing homes in the country. 

“tanteLouise is a pioneer of innovation,” Jorien says. “For us, it’s great to be working with them, also because a lot of other nursing homes follow their lead when it comes to adopting new technologies.” 

They have been working together for almost a year now and the nursing staff has been very enthusiastic about how well it supports the night shift. Momo Medical will be providing its BedSense to all residents with dementia in the nursing home. 

Each BedSense is assembled in-house, Jorien says. “We have a production room at YES!Delft, which is very convenient. At the moment, we have more than 1,000 pieces of the BedSense in the field and all of them have been made at YES!Delft.”

For the team, this means a lot of hard work and if that weren’t enough, they are also expanding to the US. CEO Menno Gravemaker has been doing field research and tagging along with night shift nurses in San Francisco to understand what their needs are and how they differ from those of nursing staff in the Netherlands. The company already has its first local contract and is working with a nursing home as of August. Further defining their proposition for the US market is a key next step on their agenda.

Expanding to the US happens to coincide with Momo Medical’s participation in the Y Combinator accelerator program, which – next to investing in the startup – is also helping it scale its technology. “Y Combinator helps you set very extreme targets and get you to prove that there is a market for your solution,” Jorien says. Demo Day is scheduled for the last week of August and it will allow Momo Medical to present to a large audience of investors and media, and make the right connections. 

Going forward, the team is looking to expand its presence in the US and further meet the needs of local nursing staff. Various markets in Europe are also on their list to expand to, Jorien says. With the current shortage of nursing home staff globally, the BedSense is a very much needed solution. At the end of the day, Momo Medical wants to provide as much value as possible to nursing home staff – and that is what drives them day in and day out.

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