PERS

Also called medical alarm systems, Personal Emergency Response Systems usually include wearable pendants with call buttons that contact a response center.

Configuring the baseline of activity for older adults

Less movement and non-movement matter.  The Washington Post ran an article recently about GreatCall's partnership with an AI company so that patterns and changes in behavior could be reported to family members from its wearable PERS device.  Of course, tracking and reporting about changes from baselines -- that's nothing new for sensor-based home monitoring systems.   But it is a surprisingly big deal in the PERS industry -- where even those who once supported pattern-detecting big ideas dropped them like a hot rock -- in favor of the transactional PERS world -- press the button and someone will come.   The most radical changes in that industry over five years, fall detection and GPS tracking, have still been transactional -- Mrs. Smith, we are responding, are you okay? -- versus, I'm Mrs. Smith's device, and based on her behavior changes, she is not okay. >>> Read more . . .

Are tech innovators ageist -- or have they just not considered seniors?

Some cool tech enters the market. Consider the Apple introduction of the HealthKit (for the health care industry) and the smartwatch which joins the Pebble (which helped fuel interest in smartwatches) and Samsung smartwatches.  Intel found smartwatches intriguing enough to sponsor a clinical trial in conjunction with Parkinson's disease.  Why? Smartwatches (and smartphones) contain accelerometers that enable the device to determine sudden motion -- like detecting a fall, gyroscope and compass to detect whether you're on of the 61 million people out there running.  And they are able to determine location by enabling GPS position of the device. These devices have geofencing capability -- used in Apple devices for setting up a Location Reminder when you arrive at or leave a location (don't forget to do such-and-so errand). >>> Read more . . .

Why would the consumer buy a smartphone PERS app from Philips?

Philips Lifeline has had, to say the least, an unusual week. First they launch a smartphone PERS application that makes no sense.   The press release quotes the Philips/Georgetown GSEI study that repeats that tiresome cliché that "seniors want to stay as independent as possible as they get older" -- really, no kidding. Therefore smartphone-enabled seniors would want this $13.95/month service. Since they put out a press release and sought media attention with this app, it is safe to say that want us to know about it. And in volume, this would be a nice incremental revenue stream and another use of their highly trained call center reps.  But what volume? 19% of the 65+ population owns a smartphone -- that's a market of 8 million people.  But two-thirds of adults with smartphones download no apps -- using only those which came with the phone.  Now we're down to 2.8 million in an available market. >>> Read more . . .

Medical alert failed loved one

Family said a home medical alert system (Lifeline with Auto Alert) didn't send help when a woman fell and died.

 
08/27/2014

Essence looking beyond the panic button

07/02/2014

HOBOKEN, N.J.—Yaniv Amir, president of Essence USA, believes PERS units need to become smarter, more intuitive and better able to transmit information passively. In short, they need to become less reliant on the human factor that comes with hitting a pendant. Devices best able to accomplish this, he says, will become differentiators for central stations.

The ideal wearable for seniors – why not a much-modified PERS?

PERS devices and wearables – what will bring them together? Now that the Washington Post has declared that Apple and Google will solve our health problems, aren’t you relieved? Oh, you’re a bit concerned about your privacy, the fact that all of your outside-of-Facebook web searches are by default accessible to Facebook – that you have to opt out on a completely separate website in order to terminate tracking of this activity?  As you wander around Google, Yahoo or through iTunes, your searches about health topics, those are all now relevant for advertisers as provided by Facebook!  And extra-special, what do you think about the fact that Apple lobbied away any need for FDA approval for anything health-related? Feeling safely healthy now? >>> Read more . . .

Philips Lifeline launches home-based cellular PERS, mPERS still to come

HomeSafe is not an mPERS device. Philips still doesn’t have an mPERS in the market.

04/03/2014

Philips Lifeline introduces HomeSafe Wireless medical alert solution

04/02/2014

Andover, Mass., USA – Royal Philips (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHIA) introduces the HomeSafe Wireless System, a new solution that expands access to Lifeline – Philips’ leading medical alert service  – to those who do not have a home phone line. According to the latest data from the U.S. >>> Read more . . .

Personal Emergency Response Systems aren’t personal about health

Watching PERS and consumer health tech industries is like watching parallel worlds.  You have to notice. Although offerings are now mobile, they are not moving closer to consumer health tech.  Wander from website to website of the leading players – Philips, Tunstall, ADT, Lifestation, LifeAlert, and so on, in the self-described Medical Alarm industry, regardless of who the company is, services are described and compared in this chart by VRI in the context of the 'emergency' dimension of Personal Emergency Response System/Service.  Okay, you’ve looked over the laundry list of companies in the VRI-crafted chart. Now add a few more mobile PERS offerings that aren’t on the chart – like Verizon Sure Response, Tunstall, GreatCall’s Five Star, MobileHelp, AT&T and Numera.  Verizon’s site offers 'convenience calling' (that is, minutes that can be used for non-emergencies); Numera’s site mentions a future health aspect of its Libris offering; and AT&T’s site talks about Health.  Otherwise, the emphasis is about averting or responding to an emergency. >>> Read more . . .

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