The MedCottage - the portable, modular medical home that enables families to take care of loved ones on their property as an alternative to long-term care facilities - made its commercial debut today in the first of five U.S. markets in a controlled introduction.
The 12-by-24-foot MedCottage (www.medcottage.com), loaded with technology and amenities for the health, comfort and safety of the elderly or those recovering from illness or injury, was developed as an alternative model for health care as 78 million baby boomers prepare for their senior years - potentially straining nursing homes and government-funded health care programs. MedCottages are available through a growing network of distributors with plans to grow nationwide over the next year.
ln just a year, N2Care, the company behind the MedCottage, received legislative approval in Virginia for property owners to house the structure, created a prototype, began manufacturing and developed a national distribution network.
"Since introducing the first prototype 10 months ago, thousands of people around the country have contacted us to tell us we're on the right track to provide a viable and cost-effective option to age in place," says the Rev. Kenneth Dupin of Salem, founder and CEO of N2Care. "Through extensive feedback and real-life testing we have made numerous changes to take the MedCottage from a vision to marketplace reality."
Among the changes from the first prototype:
- An additional 10 square feet, for a total of 299.
- Kitchen area moved from side to center of MedCottage to provide more family space.
- Wider front door to accommodate any wheelchair.
- Bathroom doors that swing.
- Flooring to lessen the impact of a fall.
The first MedCottage distributor is VAS Aging Solutions of Salem. "When we first saw the prototype, we were immediately struck by how the MedCottage can improve the lives of families seeking a better way to care for their loved ones," says
Vickie Robinson, president of vAS. "We were so confident in the product that we decided to become the nation's first distributor."
The MedCottage combines the comforts of home with medical technology. Each contains a family communication center that provides telemetry, environmental control and dynamic interaction to off-site caregivers through smart and robotic technology throughout the charming, comfortable modular home at costs less than a hospital or nursing home.
The Virginia-made MedCottage is equipped with the latest technology to monitor vital signs, filter the air for contaminants and communicate with the outside world via lnternet and smart phone applications. Sensors alert caregivers to an occupant's fall and provide information to support the overall care of a resident through remote control and monitoring in a dashboard that serves as a family communication portal.
(From press release. Photos by Kathy Bibb of the FRONT.)