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Six 2016 Tech Announcements for Older Adult Safety

Safety matters -- both to older adults and their loved ones.  For those who worry about the elderly, home safety monitoring technology and personal emergency response offerings provide a degree of reassurance -- following the entry of MobileHelp as one of the first, most of the viable Personal Emergency Response System (PERS) vendors in the market today have a mobile device, enabling the older adult to leave the home, walk the dog, and wear a device while on trips. In addition, automatically-generated check-in technology can provide another degree of comfort for caregiving families and professional providers. During 2016, a number of new variants of safety-related introductions were made, including, but not limited to the following launches -- all material : 

  • GreatCall launched the Lively Wearable.  Launched at CES 2016, "The device is a stylish activity tracker than can work on the wrist or around the neck. It offers a discreet emergency response button, making it the first wearable that connects activity tracking with nationwide mobile safety service via the user’s smartphone. device automatically connects you to an IAED (Formerly NAED) Certified Response Agent when a fall is detected. The Agent will confirm the location, evaluate the situation, and get you the help you need." Learn more at GreatCall
  • Freeus Launches Belle Personal Emergency Response Pendant.  In March, "FreeUs announced the launch of their newest generation of mobile PERS, Belle™. Belle expands users’ horizons and enables them to press one button to get help at home or away, anywhere in the US where there is AT&T 3G coverage. Belle does not require a landline or base station. It is shower-safe, lightweight and easily worn or carried with the included lanyard. Belle features upgraded hardware and powerful two-way voice technology, and it comes with a charging cradle. Belle’s unique approach to power management allows the battery to last up to 30 days per charge."  Learn more at Freeus.
  • Essence introduces a Voice Panic Detector.  In July, "Essence demonstrated its new Care@Home Voice Panic Detector last month at a series of global telecare and security events. The VPD is the first product in the industry to employ voice recognition technology to give seniors two-way access to emergency response via a simple vocal command. The VPD with Intelligent Voice Activation™ provides seniors with a voice-activated option that responds to a help word if there’s a medical emergency and they can’t physically access their units." Learn more at Essence-Group.
  • Automated telephone call service is launched called SentinalCALL™. Concordia Systems Inc." launched SentinelCALL™ a low-cost service that uses telephone calls to stay in contact, offer reminders, and keeps families connected without being invasive or burdensome. Much like an alarm clock becomes routine SentinelCALL™ features 90-second telephone calls to seniors daily that prompt two or three check-in questions asking grandma (or any loved one) how she is, offering a gentle reminder to take her take medication, eat, collect daily blood pressure or sugar levels and asking if anything is needed." Learn more at SentinalAware.
  • Philips launches CareSensus with home care company Right at Home. In June, Philips started a beta launch of a new "Internet of Things (IoT), remote care service with partner Right at Home, a major in-home senior care network. Dubbed CareSensus, it uses connected sensors and analytics to monitor everyday behaviors such as sleeping, movement, eating and trips to the bathroom to identify changes in patterns that suggest the need for alterations in care." Learn more at FierceBiotech or Philips.
  • Sen.se Peanut™ Product Line Makes Keeping Tabs on Belongings and Valuables.  "Sen.se, an early pioneer of the Internet of Things industry, announced the availability of GuardPeanutTM, an affordable, portable smart sensor that can be placed on any valuable or prized possession to provide notifications and automatic sound alerts when the item has been tampered with, on the verge of being stolen or moved. The intuitive tag follows the launch of ThermoPeanutTM and is the second sensor in the new SensePeanut product line, which has introduced a completely new generation of IoT technologies by simplifying various connected capabilities and making smart awareness devices accessible to all smartphone or tablet." Learn more at Sen.se or CNET.