A medical alarm is an alarm system designed to signal the presence of a hazard requiring urgent attention and to summon emergency medical personnel. Other terms for a medical alarm are Personal Emergency Response System (PERS), medical alert, medical alarms, medical alarm bracelet, medical alert button, medical alert pendant, etc.

Typical systems have a wireless pendant or transmitter that can be activated in an emergency. When the medical alarm is activated, the signal is transmitted to the Vital-Link central station, Emergency medical personnel may then be dispatched to the site where the alarm was activated.

Elderly people, senior citizens, children concerned about senior safety(or the safety of their seniors) and disabled people who live alone commonly use and may even require medical alarm devices.

Home alert systems were conceived and developed in Germany in the early 1970s with the aim of developing new comprehensive structures for ambulatory and non-ambulatory care for the sick, the elderly, those who live alone, and disabled persons who strive to stay independent.

What medical alarm systems do:

A medical alarm system consists of:

  1. an emergency wireless transmitter, which is worn like a wristwatch or a pendant
  2. a console, which is connected to the telephone line and contains a microphone and speaker.

In case of emergency, for example, after a fall or a suddenly appearing ailment, the user can set off a call for help by a simple press of the alert button on his wrist or medical alarm pendant worn on a chain around the neck, without needing to reach the telephone. The medical alarm signal is sent to the Vital-Link Medical Alarm monitoring center and the data of the affected person (address, medical conditions, family contacts) are displayed. Through the microphone/speaker unit in the base station our emergency monitoring staff will attempt to speak with our subscriber in order to clarify the type and severity of the emergency and discuss further measures. Depending on the type of emergency help required, relatives or neighbors may be informed. If necessary, EMS(emergency medical services) may be notified. It is common practice for the user to leave a house key with a neighbor or family member so that emergency personnel can enter the house even if the subscriber cannot open the door. Keys are kept in a safe and marked only with numbers so that improper use is precluded.

Medical Alarm Monitoring Services

The monitoring service for the Vital-Link medical alarm (also known as a central station) is a call center facility that is staffed by trained professionals and staffed 24 hours per day … every day. Our professionals are available at all times to receive calls from the medical alarm system. Vital-Link’s medical alarm monitoring centers are approved by Underwriters Laboratories (UL) have internal backup systems to add redundancy. Vital-Link emergency medical alarm monitors are trained to deal with people, get them the necessary help, sometimes just keep them company or to just listen to the person. At Vital-Link, we spend as much time as needed with our subscribers.

Medical Alert Devices – The Next Generation

PERS, a commonly accepted abbreviation for Personal Emergency Response System or medical alarms have been sold throughout the marketplace for more than forty years. PERS systems and service models, which originally were designed to help the elderly summon emergency services when needed, are rapidly evolving. Here is what is on the medical alarm horizon:

  • Automatic Fall Detection. Fall detection without the need of a “panic button” which is often inaccessible when unconscious.
  • User Compliance Tracking. Detection when the device is not worn – alerting caregivers of the heightened risk or to provide gentle reminders to seniors that wish to wear, but forget.
  • Caregiver Notifications. Adult children and other authorized caregivers can receive notifications with text and email messages to alert loved ones if the user is ok.
  • Private caregiving websites are created for each user to monitor vital signs and activity levels

Traditional or legacy PERS offer benefits to independently living seniors and can save money. PERS 2.0 products will offer everything legacy PERS offer but adds new benefits at higher price, hopefully, making these upcoming products extremely popular within the senior safety medical alarm market and as the demand increases the cost for the next generations of medical alarm devices should decrease.

Medical Alarms in Pop Culture

“I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!” was a catchphrase of the late 1980s based on a line from a United States based television commercial. In this commercial an elderly actor is seen fallen and distraught and uses the medical alert system to summon help. The unexpected humor in the commercial made it a universal punchline for many comedic acts.


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