Data are the universal currency that pays for the lion’s share of IT hardware and software development. The “things” that produce it are merely conduits.

“We really are agnostic from a vendor perspective,” said Cheryl Field, chief product officer of PrimeCare Technologies, a data warehouse and claims clearinghouse. “Facilities have so much of this technology, and it’s challenging to get it all to make sense. Can you imagine having a separate iPhone for every app you use?”

The amount of data now being mined from resident behaviors by way of wearables, smart devices and sensors is mind-boggling.

“Whether you’re living at home, a residential community, a skilled nursing facility or another kind of senior living environment, combining the concept of the connected home with connected care is extremely powerful,” said Robert Venditti, director of research and development for Philips Lifeline, a medical alert solutions company. “There are devices today that can compile data and sense different aspects of engagement with the senior, whether passively or actively.”

The data then can be used to spawn alerts and notifications, or to provide a dashboard showing the senior’s status, he added.

More and more senior living organizations are finding all kinds of ways to leverage all of this data, said Jim Rubadue, chief customer officer at OnShift. Some are leveraging technology to drive efficiencies and optimize business processes that can point to tangible data and outcomes to prove results and share this information with their partners.

“In addition, many senior living providers now have teams of data analysts looking at their data from a holistic viewpoint, so managers and others can more easily take action based on this information, ideally in real-time,” he said.

In the end, resident security tech also is providing much-needed eyes, ears and hands for senior living workforces decimated by staff turnover and attrition, and it is showing providers how to marry their labor, clinical and employee satisfaction data to uncover trends and opportunities at a large scale.

Most experts agree that data’s role in this sector will only grow. Analysts see it helping improve both resident services and the bottom line in ways that would have once seemed unimaginable.