Posted by Isolde Decker-Lucke
Mobile Personal Emergency Response Systems (mPERS) are medical alert devices with a button that customers can press anytime to receive emergency assistance. An essential component of these devices is that they provide the specific location of a device when it is activated. With the rise of COVID-19, or the Coronavirus, mPERS wearables can be life saving devices for elders who haven’t been checked on regularly by their loved ones due to concern about spreading the highly contagious virus via close contact with one another. According to the Center for Disease Control, older adults are at higher risk from the virus and the public has been advised to limit contact with people in this demographic to protect them. A unintended negative side affect of this is that these older people are spending more time alone, and if they get sick themselves, or have a bad fall, the chances of someone visiting and finding them are lower than ever before.
mPERS are ideal solutions for these people at higher risk, and accurate location is one of the most important components of the devices. The National Council on Aging reports that falls are the leading cause of fatal and non-fatal injuries for older Americans, with an older adult being treated in the emergency room for a fall every 11 seconds, and an older adult dying from a fall every 19 minutes. mPERS can help mitigate these numbers and increase peace of mind for people who can’t be with their loved ones during this time.
Devices that can operate in challenging environments and provide clear signals and location are more important right now than ever before. Mobile Personal Emergency Response Systems - which are often seen as pendants or bracelets have improved greatly over the years and many include features that can automatically detect a fall based on motion patterns, the ability to monitor vital signs, and when built with a hybrid location system can precisely locate the wearer whether they are indoors, in a basement, outside, or in a hard to detect environment.
mPERS wearables must leverage the value of Wi-Fi and precise location rather than just GPS when looking to locate devices inside and outside the home. GPS is great for driving in your car, but it has limits that make it a less than ideal choice for mPERS wearables. Hybrid location complements GPS capabilities with other forms of tracking and improves location accuracy on the device in any environment. Skyhook offers location services for mPERS manufacturers like .
Hybrid location combines Wi-Fi positioning, GPS, cell tower, IP, and device sensor data. The system chooses the best way to provide precise location data between these in a given environment and returns the fastest time-to-fix location available. A reliable mPERS device must be power efficient so that the wearer and their families can be confident that it will maintain enough battery to perform its essential functions. With hybrid location, the device doesn’t need to always be on. It can be programmed to turn on intermittently to gather location data. When the device is activated, it turns on immediately and can report a precise location to emergency services.
In a scary time such as the one we’re experiencing now, it is important to make sure your loved ones are safe and that you both feel confident that if they do need help, they’ll be able to call for it.