Overcoming the Stigma of Panic Buttons with Smart Alerting
The Medical Alert Systems market, also known as PERS (Personal Emergency Response Systems) has been rapidly changing for the past few years. The revolution in the industry has been so fast that many companies have not been able to keep pace with the times, and general consumers are mostly unaware of their many options, sticking with outdated solutions out of sheer disinformation.
The new generation of PERS combines the use of panic buttons with other additional features such as daily-pattern learning algorithms that reinforce its effectivity by detecting the causes that may lead to a fall —such as forgetting meals, or taking longer and longer every day in performing simple chores— thus helping to make the necessary adjustments to prevent it. And, in the event an emergency occurred, they ensure that the elderly person receives help in the shortest possible time, which is essential to a successful recovery and the subsequent return to an independent lifestyle. The use of these technologies to enhance and reinforce each other has proved to be effective, since evidence shows that in most falls the panic button is not used.
Indeed, the combined use of a panic button and technologies such as automatic fall detection and voice recognition can mean all the difference for a senior living alone. Imagine a person has fallen and is unconscious, so he cannot press the panic button. In that case, intelligent fall detection will send an automatic emergency call to the monitoring station and immediate medical attention would be on its way. This is Smart Alerting: PERS taken to a whole new level, where multiple devices work together as a single, seamless system, adding layer upon layer of care with a common goal: keep a senior person safe at home and living independently for as long as possible.
Personal circumstances of each individual senior differ, as do the situations in which they find themselves. Panic buttons, although useful in some occasions, can become rather useless in others. It all depends on the type of fall and the previous health condition of the elderly person. With panic buttons, there is not a “one size fits all” solution. The risks of living alone for a person with incipient symptoms of dementia but otherwise in great physical health are totally different from those of a person with a sharp mind but a hip replacement and osteoporosis. The goal of Smart Alerting is to help cover every possible scenario for every type of person and circumstance, so if one device cannot be used for any reason, another one will come to the rescue.
By removing the need of pressing buttons through intelligent detection and alerting, and addressing the many benefits of retaining independence and continue to live in the home they love, seniors are beginning to overcome the prejudices associated to traditional PERS and are staring to understand the many benefits of Smart Alerting. In fact, the age at which users start to use PERS devices has been decreasing dramatically in recent years. We will talk about this in our next post.
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