’t VerzorgingsThuis

Team Zorg Enablers
Published on
Implementations | Control & Monitoring


More and more people want to, and have to, live at home independently for longer. The VerzorgingsThuis (Care at Home), developed by healthcare organisation Cordaan, is a concept based on intelligent sensor technology. It helps people with minor healthcare demands to live safely and independently in the comfort of their own home. The concept enables healthcare providers and informal caregivers to ‘keep an eye’ on things remotely. Infrared sensors are installed in every room of the house. These register movement, after which an intelligent algorithm analyses the patterns. Various indicators are monitored such as the amount of sleep, movement, arrival at home after being out, and the use of the kitchen, fridge and toilet. Inconsistencies in normal patterns are communicated to relevant healthcare professional or informal carer allowing them to intervene preventatively or to take action in an emergency.

Two and a half years ago, Cordaan started developing the concept. Together with FocusCura as the technology supplier, they are now testing the concept with various users in their homes. The urgency of developing this concept is high. ‘There is a growing shortage of healthcare professionals in the labour market and an enormous increase in healthcare demands, driven primarily by the growing number of dementia patients in our region’, says Ellen Maat. The technology helps clients feel safer and gives family and informal caregivers peace of mind. The idea of being able to ‘keep an eye on things’ gives both parties more confidence. The available data enables healthcare professionals to support clients in a focused and substantiated manner. Initial responses have been positive. Users are closely involved with the development and will serve as ambassadors. Cordaan hopes this will make other healthcare teams enthusiastic about using the concept. However, the concept also involves challenges.

FocusCura is now the third technology partner that has worked with Cordaan has worked. Previous collaborations were unsuccessful. Investment in pilot schemes or test cases is feasible, but as yet there is no structural funding. This makes scaling up difficult for minor parties and less lucrative for major ones. The limited scale makes it difficult to deliver proof of concept or to further develop the technology. The lack of evidence and improved quality are subsequently blocking the way towards structural funding from municipalities, healthcare insurers or health service offices. There seems to be no escape from this Catch-22 situation.

Nevertheless, Cordaan is not giving up and is working hard to be able to offer the concept to all clients in 2018. For the time being, the company itself is covering the purchase costs of the technology and that of staff training. Initial results have shown that this amounts to a saving, certainly for the financiers, of approximately €20,000 per client. This is achieved by preventing events such as hospital admissions or falls. According to Ellen Maat, failure is simply not an option. Cordaan, however, is continuing to invest structurally in an organisation of the future, albeit in a different form. Maat hopes that innovation and a focus on meaningful healthcare will be further stimulated with the help of funding schemes (fixed amount per client) and other resources.

For now, it is important that staff help optimise the concept together with FocusCura, with regard to both its integration in the healthcare process and the technical development of elements such as the interface. The concept will then at least be able to ensure that Cordaan clients can live at home safely and independently for longer.



Every year, Cordaan offers 20,000 people short-term or long-term healthcare from 120 locations and with 60 home care teams in Amsterdam and the surrounding areas. Cordaan employs almost 5400 members of staff and has over 2000 volunteers. It assumes responsibility for the development of long-term healthcare in Amsterdam. Ellen Maat is Director of Strategy, Quality & Innovation at Cordaan. She previously worked as programme director for Innovation & ICT at the Dutch Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport where she was responsible for optimising the use of ICT in the healthcare sector, stimulating innovation in healthcare, promoting eHealth and introducing a national infrastructure for the exchange of data in healthcare.