Smart Help for the elderly

Teneo IoT technology raises an alarm via LoRa if the tap or shower is not used, is this a solution for the healthcare sector?

Mother has fallen. She is unable to reach the telephone and therefore it takes a long time before she is found. This scenario could look very different if it was up to the young Winterswijk company Teneo IoT. Teneo IoT is currently working on an ambitious project called Smart Nurturing for the healthcare sector, in which sensors automatically raise the alarm using LoRa technology if something seems to be wrong at home. Of vital importance to the person in need of care and relieving the caregiver, Inou Heideman (23) of Teneo IoT believes.

Lieke Ruesink – 29 September, 2017

Teneo IoT uses a new technology, namely LoRa(WAN) (long range wide area network). This is a network with which small messages can be sent (the size of an SMS message) between a sender and a receiver. The result is comparable to Wi-Fi and 4G, but there are more differences than similarities. Heideman: “Wi-Fi is not suitable for us, because it only works over short distances and is very susceptible to interference. You know that from home. At my home we already need six signal amplifiers to have enough coverage.”


With LoRa, messages can be sent over distances of ten to fifteen kilometres, and – which is at least as important- with hardly any power consumption and without having to have an internet connection for each sensor and therefore expensive subscription. Teneo IoT uses this to create all kinds of smart solutions. An example of this is monitoring activity in homes remotely. This is done, for example by placing sensors on water pipes. There, such a sensor can measure whether, for example, a resident drinks often enough during a day, or whether they shower. That information is then passed on to an informal caregiver or nurse. For example, if a shower has not been used for too long, this may be a signal that something is wrong. The caregiver can then be alerted by a notification via a mobile app.


Although the messages are sent outside the internet, Teneo cannot end up without it. Messages are sent from sender to receiver free from the internet, but to process the message internet is needed. However, worrying about privacy or hackers is not necessary according to Heideman. Messages are sent encrypted and are therefore always protected. Moreover, collected data is never linked to personal data such as a name or date of birth.

Heideman emphasizes that the use of devices connected to LoRa will not be a replacement for care providers, but rather a useful addition: “My future ideal is that this will became a way to relieve care providers by better coordinating care moments. This can improve the quality of life of both the caregiver and the patient.”

Heideman doesn’t know when the product will be available on the market. The company is currently busy with technical research and making contact with care providers in both the Netherlands and Germany. This is being done in a cross-border Euroregio project supported by the European Regional Development Fund. By further developing the project with interested parties, Teneo hopes to be able to fine-tune the final product to the needs in the healthcare sector.

Innovation price

With these kinds of developments, Teneo is emerging as a promising start-up in the smart industry, a sector that the Achterhoek is specifically aiming for. Teneo was also recently nominated for the innovation prize from consultancy firm Accunture. At the end of October this results in a final where the Green and Bleu Tulip of the year are chosen. “The Accenture Innovation Award is a very prestigious prize,” says Heideman, “where many special innovations compete. We are therefore happy that we are among the contenders.”

For the original Dutch article, we refer to the website of the 50+ newspaper.

Here you can read more about our Smart Nurturing project.

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