Moving Society Towards Preventive Healthcare

Kjell Are Furnes standing in front of a blurry wall

Kjell Are Furnes

CEO & Founder

May 6

2 min read

Healthcare systems around the world are experiencing the strain of providing treatment and services for an aging population, also compounded by the rapid increase in non-communicable diseases. Soaring expenditures in healthcare show that money is not the only solution.

Ably is working on becoming a part of the solution to the struggles of healthcare systems around the world, designing and engineering a brand new hospital bed for a more sustainable future.

In order to create sustainable healthcare systems we have to address systemic challenges through a holistic approach of tackling root causes of bad outcomes and unnecessary costs. Through our bed’s non-intrusive sensors we produce a wide range of structured data sets for our clinical research partners, enabling new insight and medical development on an unprecedented level. At the same time, the bed delivers extensive nurse support and value to the current patient treatment.

Our research and cooperation with nurses and doctors taught us that many adversities can be traced back to the hospital bed. They requested a new approach.

What started out as a small-scale ideation project about possible solutions to major cost drivers in the Norwegian healthcare systems, has led to an international collaboration across industry, healthcare providers and clinical staff to bring a dynamic and intelligent hospital bed to the market, one that is tailor-made to its multiple functions in a healthcare setting.

- The physical and mental burden of nurses and other clinical staff has a direct effect on patient safety and care. Adverse events, such as in-hospital falls and the development of pressure ulcers, are more likely to occur when nurses do not have the adequate time or tools to treat patients.

Each issue exacerbates the other, and it becomes a self-reinforcing circle of poor outcomes for patients and nurses and skyrocketing costs for the hospitals. So we decided to do something about it.

Healthcare costs are rising faster than available funding, and the aging population in Europe will only amplify this trend. The share of the population aged 65 years and above is increasing across Europe and elsewhere. Within the last decade, an increase of 2.4 percentage points was observed for the EU as a whole, with older persons making up a 19.4% share of the EU’s population in 2017 (approx. 148 of 740 million people). Older persons are more likely to experience adverse events such as pressure injuries and falls, which are important cost drivers in the healthcare system.

This leads to increased pressure on the healthcare system, in particular with regards to nurse burden.

- Ably sees the opportunity to tackle the root cause of some major challenges in the healthcare system, that are all tied to the current design and functionality of the hospital bed

Together with users across Norway, Germany and Canada Ably is developing a medical device that is not only tailored to clinical staff in their day-to-day work in treatment and care, and optimized for patient safety and comfort, it is also designed to prevent adverse events.

There will be no quick-fix to reorganizing and preparing healthcare providers for the future, but Ably believes that our approach and our technology will contribute to a functional and effective healthcare system in which patients can heal and clinical staff can treat and care without running the risk of becoming patients themselves.

Nurse Burden: An Inconvenient Reality