I recently posted a blog on this topic which has proven quite popular. It appears that there are many people concerned about the safety of people when they are away from their home. There are already products such as Lifelink from St Johns which are excellent products around the house, but there are many people looking for products to help out when people are out of range of their home.
Having had yet another call from one of many companies looking at bringing in products from China and other parts I have decided to check one out for myself. The one I am going to check out is one that has gone through a number of refinements which will probably make it a little more expensive, but possibly far more beneficial as well. I won’t mention any brands yet, but what I like about this product includes:
- A drop sensor. If the devices falls or the person carrying it in their pocket, or perhaps around their necks, falls, as elderly people sometimes do, it will set of an alarm which will call someone and send them a message.
- A panic button which can allow the device to send an emergency signal to a predetermined location if there is a problem and the person needs assistance.
- A microphone and speaker so that not only can the person send an emergancy message but they can talk to a call centre or their help service.
- The ability to call up to 3 predetermined numbers and talk to the person at the other end.
These services also include the ability for authorised people to view the location of the device, i.e. the person carrying it, on a map from anywhere that they can access an internet browser.
If this product is as good as the supplier says, it will have huge value for a variety of services including, elderly or infirm people, children, people with severe allergies or other potential health problems, people in risky careers such as security guards or investigators, or even police as well as services such as mental health nurses and midwives who are helping people in the community.
By having a combination of a SIM card with GPRS and SMS capabaility as well as speech, any wearer can be located on a map and can also be in voice contact where necessary. Obviously as these devices prove their worth, their popularity will increase and consequently prices will come down. Because they are portable they can also be used on an ad hoc basis or in a pooled environment to be shared.
I’ll let you know how my pilot goes.
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Unfortunately not yet. The key thing they are still working on is the fall sensor. They need to be able confirm the difference between a fall and normal bumps. They also haven’t sorted out packaging, distribution and connection to Vodafone yet.
As to bulk, this isn’t super small. It’s twice the thickness of today’s small cell phones and half the length. It is basically a phone inside a little box, with GPS and other functionality, although it doesn’t look like one.
One of the issues to consider as well is that it needs charging on a daily basis and with dementia, this is not something she will remember to do. If she is in a retirement village or living with other people it shouldn’t be a problem.
Keep an eye on this blog, there is an RSS feature on the bottom of the page so you can subscribe to the blog, or just to comments and when I can tell you more I will.
Do you have any idea on a time frame? This sounds perfect for my grandmother – she is progressing in dementia, but not so far gone that I can slap a bulky tracking device on her and expect it to stay. Something that she can wear around her neck and conceal from others, but that gives me the ability to find her if she wanders off and is too prideful to ask for help would be an absolute blessing! If no time frame is available, is there anything you’d recommend in the meantime?
Thanks for your help.
Sorry, this product has not yet gone to market and I am assisting them with testing and comments on their solution. It is very good and will go to market, but at this state I can’t disclose anything further. I am not financially involved with this product.
Can you please email me the manufacturer and available web material on teh device you mentioned?
Outstanding topic! I just purchased a gps tracking device for my grandma who has Alzheimer’s. So far it seems to be working great and it does go away from the house.
There are many online stores that carry personal GPS tracking devices that can be easily installed into a vehicle or worn on a person. The software is user friendly and allows you to view real time locations of where your elderly loved one is at all times no matter where they may have traveled to. Many GPS companies have a full team of sales and technical support that can answer all of your questions you may have about your new GPS tracking system.