Thanks to advances in technology, fall detection has become available, and many medical alert service providers have begun to offer fall detection as an additional feature. This feature usually involves an extra monthly fee, but the advantage is that people no longer have to worry that if they hit their head that no one will be aware they are hurt.
What Are Medical Alert Systems
There are a number of medical alert systems that are available for people who may not be able to get to a phone if they need help. The issue could be that the person is disabled, has limited mobility or is worried about falling and not being able to get up. Whatever the reason, medical alert systems exist so that if someone isn’t by a phone and needs emergency assistance, they have a way of getting help.
All medical alert service providers are able to call for emergency services on your behalf, and some also offer the option of getting in touch with friends or family if you request it. For example, if you end up going to the hospital via an ambulance, the medical alert service will notify your family so that they can meet you there. Most medical alert services have agents that are available 24/7/365, and the wait time to speak with a support agent is usually under one minute.
How Medical Alert Systems Work
Most medical alert systems rely on two components: a pendant and a base station. The pendant is a small item that you carry with you, and it often comes with a wristband or neckband. A base station is connected to your home phone line, and when you press a button on your pendant, the base station makes contact with a service center.
In the past, you would have to connect your base station to your home phone line. However, many people no longer have regular phone service, so service providers have started offering alternatives. Most emergency medical services now work with VOIP phone systems, and a number have started to work using cellular service.
The systems that work with cellular service provide the same service that the ones using house phone lines do, but they use cell signals instead. With most base stations, your pendant will work within 300 feet, and they normally contain battery backups. This way, if you lose power, you’ll still be able to use your pendant to seek assistance.
Another benefit of using cellular service to connect your base unit to your medical emergency service provider is that some companies have developed base units that can travel with you. This means that your pendant will work even outside the house. However, there is usually an additional monthly charge for a pendant and base that work outside of your home.
How Fall Detection Works
While advancements in technology have allowed medical alert services to move outside of the home, they’ve also enabled service providers to easily and affordably detect when someone has fallen. With these services, a pendant that is similar to the ones normally used is provided. The difference between a regular pendant and a fall detection pendant is that the fall detection version has a number of sensors in it.
These sensors measure a number of things, including how fast and smooth your movements are and what direction you’re going in. They also are often able to measure impacts. To help devices determine what types of movements are associated with sitting down and which ones are tied to falling, many companies have set up systems that analyze patterns of movement in both circumstances so that computer systems can tell the difference.
This means that if you lie down to take a nap or go to bed at night, your pendant will not raise a false alarm. It’s abrupt and jarring movements that normally trigger the pendant.
It’s important to note that although studies have shown that these systems are effective, none are 100 percent able to successfully identify a fall every time. So, while these systems can be beneficial, they are not perfect.