Medical Alert Systems: Their History and Importance
The direction of the development of healthcare is not only a straight path towards the discovery of medicines, regardless if they are in the shape of pills, tablets, and syrups or gigantic machines that can provide treatments for fatal diseases or an inside look at certain body parts and entities are too small for the human eye.
In this day and age, the use of electronic devices such as cellphones, tablets, laptops and even watches, have become norms rather than exceptions. These small gadgets help bring convenience to our lives, particularly when it comes to communication as the cost, process, and effort are essentially lowered.
It should be of no surprise then that individuals and companies around the world have developed electronic devices that cater to the healthcare industry. These initiatives do what other gadgets do, which is to simplify the process of something.
This is where medical alert systems come in. People who use or wear these devices are linked to trusted individuals like caretakers, family members, and even close friends, who instantly receive distress signals or alerts just by the device owners’ push of a button. They are also known as personal emergency response systems.
An invention like this is considered helpful for a lot of individuals who may struggle to contact immediate help in the first place. People like senior citizens, those coming from surgery or any medical treatment that may hinder his or her bodily functions or those who have a difficult time moving.
Imagine a scenario wherein a man who is in a wheelchair suddenly falls and struggles to get up. He can instantly call for help just by pressing the button on a device that is attached to his wrist. Another person then receives an alert and can either rush to the place himself or herself or call an ambulance, which may be a difficult thing to do for people with old age.
History of medical alert systems
It is in Germany around the 1970s when medical alert systems were first thought to have been invented by a person with the name Wilhelm Hormann. The said inventor wanted to find a solution for people who are sick, in their old age, with disabilities and live alone to be able to contact someone when and if they are in a dire situation that demands to be dealt with healthcare professionals such as nurses and physicians.
Hormann created a sort of ‘home alert’ that fulfilled this task and it was optimized with the help of a company, AEG-Telefunken Backnang GmbH, and it soon received acclaim throughout Germany.
The success in Hormann’s country elevated its status into international acclaim a decade after it was brought into existence. In 1982, the Hausnotruf PERS system, its formal name, received the Frankfurt Innovation Prize of the German Economy from the Rhein-Main Business Club.
Around this time, however, a similar device was being made across the Atlantic Ocean. The American International Telephone Company manufactured a home phone system specifically for emergencies and somewhat similar to Hormann’s invention back in 1975. The device resembled a necklace or medallion that is situated on the user’s neck. When an emergency occurs, the person in question pushes a button in the middle of the necklace, which then immediately contacts certain phone numbers.
It is obvious, though, that the technology is in its infancy. Those people who are in the contacts of the ones who wear these devices can only receive notifications if they are at home. This sort of defeats the purposes because accidents can happen anytime and that the contact being away from the holder can render the purpose and capabilities of the device immaterial in the first place.
Another issue back then was that if the person presses the button, an emergency notification is the only output, not a diagnosis, which makes everything vague. Instead of the proper help being given right on the spot, other questions and difficulties arrive and these may obstruct the first aid that should be provided for the patients as called by the contact on the other end. This limitation can lead to disastrous or even fatal consequences that can not be remedied by any means possible and this also goes against the device’s purpose, which is to prevent such instances.
In the modern era
Just like medicines that take shape in different physical, liquid and even machine forms, the same can be said for medical alert systems. In their most basic iterations, these devices resemble a landline telephone that comes with a device that contains a button that can alarm people inside a house or any structure that the person wearing it is under duress.
They are very well capable of operating through the use of batteries in the event of the absence of electricity due to weather disasters, substation failures and other scenarios that may cause the loss of electric.
Since those are just the basic types, there are others more advanced and more expensive that have capabilities that are missing from the devices that are of lower cost and less competent. These advanced machines to carry with them features such as cellular and GPS competencies that reflect human beings’ need to move regularly towards different places no matter how far they are.
These things come in different forms such as a pendant that users wear around their neck, a minuscule device that is attached on a belt, a wristband, motion detectors inside a house, radar sensors that are on walls and smartphones. The good thing about this is that it allows users to select what type to use based on how easy it will be for them to optimize it.
Just like a meal, these devices are composed of different parts, which go hand-in-hand to report a person’s difficult situation to the relevant personalities and medical responders. These are the personal device itself, sensors that can recognize an accidental fall or any sort of movement, communication parts to contact people on the other end of the process, data that consists of the wearers’ current location and other pertinent facts about him or her and responders who are the ones that try to be at the scene once they are alerted to it.
There are also numerous solutions and capabilities for these devices that may not be common towards others of their ilk. One possible feature is the capability to override or hijack a live phone call to immediately contact aid. Another is that some devices can bypass monitoring services to call neighbors or relatives when the situation arises.
The ones available on the marketplace
There is widespread acceptance that medical alert systems are useful electronic devices that can provide aid when the situation calls for it. It is because of this postulate that several manufacturers around the world have developed products and brands that compete in this industry.
There is fierce competition between these manufacturers and they try to put impressive features on their inventions so that customers will select their products over others because they can make a case that buying them makes more value for money, unlike the others that surround them in different retailers.
The first of these products is Mobile Help. It is certified by the Food and Drug Administration and the FCE and it is one of the best in the market for family members and caregivers. It also has a button that can be availed off that immediately senses accidental falls and alerts the relevant respondents. There are three variations of this product: MobileHelp Classic, MobileHelp Solo and MobileHelp Duo.
MobileHelp Classic is a product that only works in the household. MobileHelp Solo is the variation that is effective whenever the person is traveling while the MobileHelp Duo combines both innovations. The cheapest subscription for this is worth $19.95 a month.
The next product on the feature is named the Medical Guardian and it has three variations of household products namely Classic Guardian, Home Guardian, and Family Guardian. At the opposite end of the spectrum, it has to variants for travel and these are Mobile Guardian, Active Guardian and Freedom Guardian.
The Mobile Guardian and Active Guardian are capable of fulfilling their responsibilities thanks to the prowess of their GPS sensors while the Freedom Guardian takes things further as it comes in the shape of a wristwatch that can perform many functions.
These devices work in a variety of networks such as landline, GPS and WiFi and when their buttons are pushed, the immediately connect you to the company’s telephone operators whose competencies allow them to solve medical emergencies as well as those that do not involve the need for medicinal remedies. They are very durable, comfortable and usable and the monitoring center works for 24 hours and 365 days in a year.
The next one is under the brand name GreatCall. Unlike its competitors, GreatCall is effective because it helps and allows its elderly customers to be independent in their own homes because the manufacturers feel that senior citizens still intend to control their lives despite their conditions.
GreatCall’s Lively Mobile Plus allows the person using it to immediately contact competent professionals 24/7 just by pressing a button. And to make matters more favorable, the product comes in with specifications that make it waterproof, detect accidental falls and GPS-capable.
It very much works hand-in-hand with a smartphone. Its wristband variation, the Lively Wearable, is a medical alert device that transmits to the wielder’s smartphone, which then allows him or her to contact GreatCal’s telephone operators, the 5Star Agent Network, to be of assistance when the opportunity comes.
There is a price to all these, though, and that comes at $49.99 at the very least. But GreatCall has no cancellation fees in case clients want to end the service.
Lastly, the final brand for medical alert systems that will be profiled here is LifeStation. It is a more affordable line of products compared to those that come from the first three brands and it is very wearable as it comes in forms of wristbands and pendants, which can be easily connected to a family landline, and are transmittable within 500 feet from open air.
Just like the three aforementioned brands, a push of a button links the user to an operations center that has highly-trained personnel available 24/7 who are capable of dealing with different situations. They come with GPS, fall detections and speakerphone capabilities.
As for the price, the services start at a monthly rate of $25.95 and these are billed to clients every year and they do not come with hidden charges nor contracts that tie customers to them for the long haul.
These products provide good arguments as to why they should be purchased over the other. In a congested industry, consumers need to evaluate what brand and product suit their needs. It is better to have a thorough review as money is a very valuable resource that is not infinite.
People need to be confident before they purchase as the wrong buy leads to a mountain full of regrets and money that could have been spent elsewhere. At the end of the day, these products are there to help people alert individuals to come to their aid, not to bring stress to their lives due to unfortunate circumstances.
First things first, consumers need to evaluate what they need in the first place. Additional features such as wall emergency buttons, fall detection radars and whether or not it is for the household or travel must be assessed before purchase. There are even devices that are resistant to flames. These must be accounted for as they can jack up the price too high levels, which may make the product unaffordable.
The next thing to consider is the price of the subscription. Each brand has its subscription plans and consumers must first calculate how much they have to pay for a year or two or more if they indeed push through with the purchase.
Now, with information so easy to get through the internet and, particularly, social media, it is indeed wise and easy to get feedback from users who have used to continue to do so since they can provide first-person accounts of their uses, capabilities and faulty services.
Ultimately, consumers are blessed that these devices exist in the world today. They may be the difference between a quick or gradual remedy or a fatal outcome. More than 40 years of research, development and fine-tuning has allowed medical alert systems to prosper in society today. These devices bridge immediate healthcare to those in need, particularly senior citizens, persons with disabilities and other individuals with certain illnesses and needs.
At just a click of a button, telephone operations with the utmost competencies are able to help people in need while the user’s neighbors, close friends, and immediate family members receive alerts about a situation that is currently going on and these can help them provide expert aid, regardless of the situation in question requires immediate medical attention or an accidental outcome like a fall. That way, its users receive treatment quickly.
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So Should You Try Extenze?
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