woman pointing to a screen while another woman watches
A John Knox Village employee and resident uses the technology. (Photo courtesy of John Knox Village)

Falls can be a frequent and serious occurrence in senior living communities. Continuing care retirement / life plan communities such as John Knox Village know that falls prevention is imperative for the well-being of residents, which is why it was one of the first retirement communities in the nation to acquire VirtuSense’s VSTBalance system.

Officially unveiled in 2021 after purchase in 2019, the system became the centerpiece of the community’s FLEX (Fitness Level Experience) program. Because of its efforts in its implementation, John Knox Village was awarded Gold in the Innovator of the Year category in the Senior Living track of the 2022 McKnight’s Excellence in Technology Awards. 

The system uses AI and machine vision to identify deficits in the three leading fall-risk indicators: balance, gait and function. It rates a resident’s likely fall risk within the next 12 months and saves participants’ results so they can be compared against future assessment results as well as against a national database. Since October 2021, the fitness center at John Knox Village has completed 321 assessments using the system. 

“It’s been about a year since we incorporated VSTBalance into our FLEX program, and we are so pleased by the resident response, their dedication to improving their health and their subsequent results,” fitness supervisor Kim Barnett said. “Winning the McKnight’s Gold-level award is just the icing on the cake, because it reinforces the importance and relevance of the program as we focus on ways to help our residents reduce their fall risks and help them lead healthy and productive lives.”

Other Innovator of the Year award winners in the Senior Living track:

  • Silver: Amity Senior Living in Pittsburgh, for launching a job search website (caringday.com) to combat hiring shortages.
  • Bronze: LCS in Des Moines, IA, for its use of automation in environmental and dining services.

Read about other 2022 McKnight’s Excellence in Technology award winners in the Senior Living track on the McKnight’s Senior Living website, in the Skilled Nursing track on the McKnight’s Long-Term Care News website, and in the Home Care track on the McKnight’s Home Care website.

See a list of all 2022 McKnight’s Excellence in Technology Awards Senior Living track here, Skilled Nursing track winners here and Home Care track here.

The Platinum sponsor of the 2022 McKnight’s Tech Awards + Summit is KARE. Gold sponsors are iN2L + LifeLoop, IntelyCare and Saiva.

To view the virtual awards presentation and recordings of the Summit webinars, visit mcknights.com/100422techawards.