OpenIDEO is an open innovation platform. Join our global community to solve big challenges for social good. Sign Up / Login or Learn more

TruSense Gives Caregivers a True Sense of Daily Activities

TruSense is family-friendly smart home technology for seniors that brings assurance to loved ones and helps older adults stay in their homes

Photo of Kim Angell
2 2

Written by

Who is your idea designed for and how does it better support family caregivers as they care for a loved one with dementia?

TruSense is ideal for caregivers that cannot be with their loved ones every moment as well as older adults that, despite onset of dementia, lead an active lifestyle, and desire the peace of mind that help is a voice command away. It is a true 24/7 experience that is focused on seniors and their needs. Its ability to access help and communicate activity to others, combined with its sleek, discreet design and long battery life, means there is one less thing to worry about.

TruSense uses sensor and GPS technology to discern the way a person lives—time spent sleeping, in the kitchen, or getting out of the house. When a pattern shifts, TruSense notices, and updates the user and the circle of people who they’ve chosen via custom notifications—it can even notify the 24/7 emergency monitoring center through a voice integration with the Amazon Echo Dot.

Smart Technology that Goes Beyond Daily Activity

In addition to an individual’s activity, TruSense can also report how much time caregivers or other visitors spend in the home while also monitoring for comfortable home temperature, dangerous water leaks and vehicle GPS. Also, as dementia symptoms worsen, and the tendency to get lost or wander increases, TruSense will report their location and send real time alerts to caregivers on their whereabouts, providing safety and peace of mind. Not only can family members get insights from the web, phone and text, with the integration of the Amazon Echo Dot, family members can also use the Amazon Echo Dot to check up on their loved one to find out what time they woke and current room location as well as system status.

Emergency Response Services

TruSense does not require a wearable to deliver 24/7 emergency response. The in-home sensors operate together as a new kind of personal emergency response system (PERS). The ultimate goal is for TruSense to identify when daily activity level patterns change so family members or care workers can intervene in order to prevent emergencies from happening, or identify the progression of dementia or other serious medical condition. Loved ones or caregivers that are granted access to the trusted reporting circle by the family can get at-a-glance updates on activity from any device with an internet connection. TruSense has alerts when something goes wrong based on customized user thresholds that can trigger a text or phone call. Voice commands can also be used to notify the TruSense 24/7 emergency monitoring center via integration with digital assistants such as the Amazon Echo Dot.

Multiple Layers of Protection

TruSense is the only solution that delivers multiple layers of protection, providing a fail-safe system that provides a safety net. Through integration with multiple technology options (e.g. Echo Dot, Motion Sensors, GPS) TruSense provides redundancy for additional peace of mind. Seniors with dementia are often at risk with single-solution products, as they have a false sense of security when they forget to charge or wear their pendants.  

 Assisted living costs can be as high as $6,000 per month in some states. At a price point of just $199 for equipment plus a low $49 monthly subscription, TruSense is the only consumer-priced product of its kind. In stark contrast to stigmatized and outdated age-in-place senior products, and without requiring seniors to move out of their homes or remember to wear or charge a device, TruSense empowers older adults with dementia to stay at home longer, reduce burden on family members and embrace new health challenges without compromising their independence or dignity as much as possible.

There are numerous ways that TruSense helps caregivers and those they are caring for. Below are some of the feedback we hear most from our early users. 

  • Improves family relationships: Benefits everyone – adult children and caregivers can worry less and elder loved ones can enjoy conversations that go beyond time consuming and frustrating check-ins and pestering.
  • Autonomy: Older adults with dementia retain a sense of independence and dignity, with peace of mind their friends and family are not worrying. 
  • Peace of mind:  TruSense has customized alerts and notifications when something goes wrong based on customized user thresholds that can trigger a text or notify our 24/7 emergency response team. 
  • Caregiver crisis: There is a growing shortage of in-family caregivers as well professionals due to disparate family members, growing aging population, costly and unreliable in-home care options.
  • Cost effective: There are financial benefits of delaying cost of in-home care or moving to assisted living housing. 
  • Early detection: The comprehensive set of sensors gives a true sense of the current state of a loved one’s activity level and safety, as well as insights into potential deteriorating patterns so that proactive steps can be taken to get them back on track or get them the specialized help they need.

What early, lightweight experiment might you try out in your own community to find out if the idea will meet your expectations?

Ten months ago we started working with just a few seniors where we had direct access that provided us with first hand observations of their life patterns to be certain the system output matched the real world patterns and accurately identified any anomalies that related to potential safety and wellness issues. More recently we extended to a small group of seniors including a program with an independent living facility that provided additional confirmation of the accuracy of TruSense.

What skills, input, or guidance from the OpenIDEO community would be most helpful in building out or refining your idea?

Guidance on what additional capabilities are needed to assist those suffering from dementia. How can we make TruSense the go-to solution for those with dementia.

How long has your idea existed?

  • 4 months - 1 year

This idea emerged from

  • A group brainstorm

Tell us about your work experience:

The CEO of TruSense is an entrepreneur that has formed over 20 different companies that served a wide-range purposes and business needs.


Join the conversation:

Photo of Tonia Porras

I really like how it can easily integrate into what many homes may already have in their house. A question I have is - if a home does not have an alarm system with motion sensors, have not purchase an echo or new technology, how can they still access TruSense? Will they have to purchase mentioned above? And seniors today are not so familiar with how to use echo & alexa, will you provide that training or is it up to the caregiver?

Looking forward to developments as I think its greatly needed in dementia care!

Photo of Kim Angell

Thanks for the question Tonia! TruSense is not just a service, it actually provides its users with the hardware (the sensors and the Amazon Echo) for a one-time cost of $199. The monthly service cost for the activity reporting (and at-a-glance dashboard access for the caregiver) is $49.99 per month. The TruSense user guide walks the caregiver and older adult through installation and ways to utilize the Amazon Echo dot features. Please let us know if we can answer any additional questions! Rob Duebell, SVP, TruSense