May 14, 2010 by Lisa Montgomery
We’re all familiar with the “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up” scenario—where the user, usually an elderly person—presses a button on a wearable pendant to call for help. Most personal emergency response systems (PERS) still have this feature, but smarter models are now embedded with sophisticated technology to notice a fall when the user is unable or unwilling to press a panic button.
The accelerometer sensor and motion signal processing built into Halo Monitoring’s (www.halomonitoring.com) myHalo device ($49/month), for example, can tell if a person has fallen, even if they’re not lying in a horizontal position.
Another wearable device from Halo, called myHalo Complete ($59/month), can also monitor a user’s heart rate and temperature. The information is transmitted via phone lines from a base station in the user’s home to a Halo call station.
Another innovative type of PERS product comes from MobileHelp (www.mobilehelpsys.com). The product (around $35/month) utilizes a combination of GPS and cellular technology to pinpoint the location of a loved one who has roamed away from their home.
Caregivers can log onto a secure website to view a map of the user’s whereabouts. If necessary, the caregiver can call the device to establish two-way communication.
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Lisa Montgomery has been writing about home technology for 15 years, with a focus on the impact of electronics on a modern lifestyle.
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