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News Article

Medical Alert Systems Can Prevent Fatalities

By Miriam Bello | Mon, 07/11/2022 - 15:40

Medical alert systems aim to transform emergency responses for the general public, potentially providing more independence for seniors living alone, individuals with a health condition and caregivers who want to keep their relatives safe.

Medical alert systems are designed to quickly connect people with an emergency health service. They involve two parts: the equipment and the on-call, 24/7 monitoring service. These systems come mostly in the form of a wearable button that once pressed sends a signal to a base station, but new devices are offering wearables able to detect the emergency on their own.  

For older adults, a device of this kind can be a lifesaver after a severe fall. According to the National Council on Aging, in the US falls cause more than 2.8 million of injuries treated in emergency rooms each year. Of that number, over 800,000 resulted in hospitalization and over 27,000 proved fatal.

A survey shared by Forbes on the effectiveness of medical alerts found that 86 percent of respondents said a medical alert system has saved them or a loved one from an incident at least once. Half of the respondents said that their medical alert system saved them from a potential catastrophe and 36 percent said it saved them from an incident that could have escalated.

Modern Medical alerts can automatically detect an emergency and alert medical services or a third party. For example, specialist in homecare monitoring devices Omron developed an asthma prevention nebulizer that allows parents to monitor asthma attacks in young children who may not know what is happening. “This technology will inform the parent of the attack the child is experiencing so they can get medication,” said Vanessa Ballarte, Executive Director of Corporate Strategy and Digital Health for Latin America, Omron Healthcare.

Companies are scaling up these solutions to a city-level structure. According to Alessio Hagen, Director of Digital Cities for Latin America, Dell Technologies, alert systems can be integrated on an entire management platform to connect people with services like transportation, education, security, health and innovation. If all these are also interconnected, multi-approach responses can also be provided. “Through AI, we have been able to detect scenarios like a person fainting on the subway. Through the system, a bystander is able to send an alert that will trigger actions from all the interconnected services,” Haggen said.

Miriam Bello Miriam Bello Senior Journalist and Industry Analyst