It seems like every day the “next big thing” is coming out. Whether it is a smartwatch or a telephone that turns into a tablet or a new vacuum cleaner, technology marches on and changes the way we live our lives. Technological advances have also hit the medical alert industry, as companies are spending tens of millions of dollars in research and development to make their products better, thus keeping you safer.
One of the biggest developments recently is fall protection. This is a system in which the alert button that you wear around your neck is packed with sensors that purport to be able to detect if the wearer has fallen. A call is automatically placed to the monitoring center, at which time you can tell the operator whether you have indeed fallen and need help.
This system is controversial; many companies do not offer it because they do not think the technology is reliable. They say there are too many false alarms and actual falls that are not detected. Other companies disagree and offer the protection.
Another way that technology is advancing medical alert systems is the way in which you are connected to the monitoring center. Up until just a few years ago, you would need a traditional landline telephone connection to hook up the system. In these days when so many people are ditching their old fashioned telephones, this has become a burden and an obstacle for many people to get a potentially like-saving medical alert system.
But now there is cellular technology, allowing you to have a system and not have a phone line. This works by having cellular technology built into the base unit. In the event of a medical emergency, you would press your emergency button just as before, but instead of the call being placed over a telephone line, it is placed through cellular service. The system works independently from your own cell phone.
Another cellular option would be to have a portable base unit that you can take with you. About the size of a deck of cards, the unit works just as a cellular base unit except it goes with you so you can have protection anywhere you are. The mobile unit also has GPS built into it so the monitor will be able to know where you are, even if you do not. While at home, the unit goes into a charger and acts as your base unit.
So which system should you get? Obviously the more technologically advanced, the more it is going to cost you. If you only want protection at home and already have a phone line, there is nothing wrong with going with the traditional system.
However, if you do not have a phone, you might want to go with the cellular system. The added monthly cost will likely even out with what it would cost to have a phone line.
If you are an active senior and are always on the go, then you might want to opt for the mobile system.
Whatever you decide, it is very important that you acquire some type of medical alert system, especially if you live alone. It is always nice to have a backup.