Olli Connect is an RFID-based tool that enables Olli to offer personalized care for each rider with the flick of a wrist or the tap of a card. Designed by a team of gerontologists, livable community advocates, and caseworkers with experience in public transportation, Olli Connect would help all riders feel autonomous.
The Olli Connect system is designed to take advantage of underutilized RFID technology, while not requiring any tech knowledge or usage on the part of riders. This team has seen many examples of smartphone-based tech or apps aimed at helping older and limited mobility users without taking into account the motor skills, affordability, tech comfort and user interest needed to operate them. The innovation in Olli Connect lies in how it will fuse RFID and case management systems, which are currently used all over the world, without placing any such burden on the rider.
How it Works
Olli Connect riders can choose between a card to be kept in their wallet or a small, light bracelet that can be worn constantly. This is because many people highly dislike and refuse to wear wearable devices, so a discrete wallet option is a better fit. However, riders with fine motor impairments or cognitive impairments might not find the card-in-wallet system to be a good fit for their lifestyle. Riders can choose based on preference and recommendations from Olli Connect.
Olli Connect’s key feature is its ability to sync and communicate with online case management systems, meaning it has thorough data about each rider (with their consent) and can instantly update an individual’s care team (with their consent). Likewise, the care team can communicate with Olli (“Update: Mrs. Brown just had surgery so she will need more time than usual to get on the bus, plus she has been groggy so please raise the system volume to help her focus on the bus communication.”) Using Olli Connect, case managers could send appointment schedules to Olli to transport folks who do not have household computers or smart phones.
Olli Connect would help case managers monitor other things that sometimes can take them days to find out, like if Mrs. Brown actually went to the adult day program, or if she just said she did. What day she went to her ENT, how many times a week she is going to the pharmacy. It would streamline care, indicate potential problems before they are serious and would take the stress off of clients, who sometimes feel overwhelmed trying to recall specific details and dates. Our team's partner organizations use a HIPAA-compliant online case management system called No Wrong Door. Similar systems exist across the country and the rest of the world that could be integrated with Olli Connect to meet these needs.
Person-Centered Care Recommendations (to complement Olli Connect)
The way Olli communicates with riders should also carefully designed with all kinds of riders in mind. Besides being kept up to date by Olli Connect, the on-board communication system should have general person-centered features. Receiving data from Olli Connect, Olli should welcome riders warmly by name and escort or direct them to their reserved seat. It would be great if their seat remained the same for each ride. The system should feel like a friendly host that helps riders to prepare to transition in advance of their stop, and wish them well. If they boarded with items like shopping bags, Olli should remind them to carry them off the bus in a cheerful way, in the correct language and volume level -- as informed by Olli Connect data.