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Canopy brings wearable security to home hospital

Home hospital programs lack the security of traditional healthcare settings.
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3 min read

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Healthcare Brew covers pharmaceutical developments, health startups, the latest tech, and how it impacts hospitals and providers to keep administrators and providers informed.

As home hospital programs continue to grow—employment in the home health industry is projected to increase by nearly 30% by 2029—so does the concern that home healthcare professionals are increasingly vulnerable to assault and harassment.

In an attempt to protect staff when they’re off the hospital campus, some tech companies, including healthcare security company Canopy, have developed ways workers can alert security when they feel threatened.

Healthcare workers already deal with alarming rates of workplace violence in the clinical setting, with over 80% of nurses seeing or experiencing workplace violence in the last year, according to a February National Nurses United survey. In the same survey, half of respondents indicated that violence had worsened in healthcare facilities in the previous year, compared to 21.9% in 2021.

The risk of physical assault or harassment is also present in a home setting, and hospital execs have less control over what happens outside of their facilities. At the same time, healthcare at home is advantageous for health systems because it can free up hospital beds faster and help patients recover more comfortably in their own environment.

Recently, some hospitals have introduced the use of devices that alert safety teams without escalating the situation with patients. Earlier this year, software company Cognosos introduced a wearable clinicians can activate in an emergency.

Healthcare tech company Canopy, which was founded in 2019, also makes wearables to help improve workplace safety. The technology, called Canopy Protect, features a button clinicians can wear on their badges and press to alert security if they encounter violence at work. Canopy said in a June 18 statement that 40 health systems and about 200,000 workers use the device around the country.

Shan Sinha, co-founder and CEO of Canopy, said healthcare workers in hospital settings have used the buttons to report nearly 27,000 incidents in the last 12 months.

In June, Canopy announced a new feature called Canopy Go that provides added protection for home healthcare workers. The system includes a wearable button and a mobile app that alerts the hospital’s security team of the worker’s ID and location. The alert can also call 911 in cases of emergency.

“In home healthcare scenarios where you have workers going out into the community, [it] is even more oftentimes anxiety-inducing and presents greater threats because it’s a completely uncontrolled environment,” Sinha told Healthcare Brew.

“What we’ve really done is build a comprehensive end-to-end solution that’s designed for organizations, but gives home health caregivers a way to not feel alone when they walk into what could be a potentially dangerous situation,” Sinha added.

Zoom out: In addition to Cognosos and Canopy, tech company Commure also makes wearables for the clinician security market. Commure, which merged with software company Athelas last year, released an updated version of its security solution called Commure Strongline Pro in December.

Correction 07/10/2024: This piece has been updated to clarify features of Canopy Protect.

Navigate the healthcare industry

Healthcare Brew covers pharmaceutical developments, health startups, the latest tech, and how it impacts hospitals and providers to keep administrators and providers informed.