Advances in Personal Emergency Response and Detection SystemsBy Hessels, Virginia; Le Prell, Glenn S.; Mann, William C.; Assistive Technology, Volume 23, pages 152-166
Publication Date: 2011
Article discusses the benefits and limitations of Personal Emergency Response Systems (PERS) and alternative technologies available. Traditional PERS are described as having three components: (a) a small radio transmitter, (b) a console connected to a telephone, and (c) an emergency response center that monitors calls. The transmitter is a battery powered device worn around the neck or wrist or placed in a pocket. In an emergency, the user presses the transmitter’s help button, which sends a signal to the console, which in turn dials an emergency telephone number. Studies of the use of PERS cited have shown that health care cost savings were realized as a result of reduced hours of in-home care by home health aides, and PERS could be used by managed care organizations to reduce health care costs among community residing elderly patients. Barriers to using the alarms, as revealed by investigating users’ experiences with the devices, included not seeing any advantage in having the system, not developing the habit of wearing the transmitter, or not being able to reach the alarm button for activation following a fall. PERS modifications and options discussed include (1) PERS models that provide two-way communication via a pendant containing a cordless telephone; (2) PERS pendants that detect health emergencies without user activation; (3) PERS that offer other monitoring capabilities such as smoke detection; (4) GPS tracking devices which may include mobile phone capabilities; and (5) in-home monitoring systems that track users’ movements, assess daily living patterns, and use this information to determine when aid might be required.
Published by: Rehabilitation Engineering & Assistive Technology Society of North America (RESNA) (Website:http://www.resna.org)