New ideas in the Fall Alarm World: Fall Detection Devices versus GPS enhanced medical alarm buttons versus standard medical alert systems for keeping Seniors Safe.
The medical alarm systems that are mostly in place today are not that much different than those that were in use in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s with one notable exception. Back then the medical alert devices did not have the two way communication component that can function as a speakerphone.The medical alarm systems of today are comprised of essentially two component … a wireless panic button or medical alert bracelet button and the console that contains the speaker and microphone.
Emergency Response System technology is changing … maybe not for the better.
In a nutshell here is what we are seeing on the market. Medical alarm systems with the speaker and the microphone in the pendant or medical alert wristband itself. On the surface, it seems like a good idea … except our evaluation has shown these products have some drawbacks. First, they tend to be big and bulky … in the real world this makes it less comfortable for our seniors to wear their medical alarm pendants or wrist bands … and there is no magic here … if theses medical alert devices are not worn … they will not be available at the time of a fall or other medical emergency. Not to mention … in our opinion … they are too expensive. If the idea is to be able to get help simply by pressing a medical alarm button … what is the point of paying more for “sizzle”. The current emergency response system technology has been working for the past few decades and continues to work today. Until the Personal Emergency Response System(PERS) technology changes for the better at a price that if affordable for the at risk senior community … we so no reason to offer new medical alarm technology that costs more, may be less effective and does nothing to enhance the safety of our seniors.
Some companies are now offering fall detection devices … truly a great idea and when they get perfected … they may be the first big change that makes sense for those that provide and those that have a need for medical alarms. The problem with theses devices as the currently exist is two fold. First, with the fall detection technology for the senior community the false alarm rate is too high for our liking. Secondly, they are too expensive for what they currently do. We still think, on balance, the existing technology, at the current price level keeps seniors safe … at a lower cost than some of these new offerings. By the way, once new medical alarm and emergency response system technology proves to meet our standards for both performance and value … only then will it be offered to the public by Vital-Link. Once again, until medical alert technology changes for the better … at a price that if affordable for the at risk senior community … we so no reason to offer new medical alarm technology that costs more, may be less effective and does nothing to enhance the safety of our seniors.
In our view GPS technology with the purpose of being coupled with medical alarms is not yet ready for prime time. GPS is great for tracking cars, trucks and valuable items. It has a place in the commercial world where what is at risk are inanimate things. When it comes to GPS for the protection of real people we think, at least for now, it is a cute gimmick that sounds good but does not really deliver and still costs way too much for medical alarm kind of protection. When its right Vital-Link will have it … until then we will stick with the medical alert devices that we know work … are affordable … and do not create expectations that cannot be achieved.
In closing, … just because a medical alarm company is offering something that appears to be new … it does not mean that the new panic button technology is better … The ultimate goal for any good medical alarm system/service provider … should simply be to provide a medical alert device and the associated medical alarm service that keeps seniors safe,independent and in their own home … at an affordable price.
Vital-Link has been serving the senior community since 1981 with medical alert systems that simply work.
To find out more about how the Vital-Link Medical Alert Devices could work for you … Click here to find out