July 5, 2007 4:00 AM PDT

Taking your meds? Sensors will know

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Other technologies already on the market include sensors stationed throughout the house, some of which work in conjunction with a PERS device.

Security company ADT, for example, offers three home health monitoring services. One is a PERS product called Companion Service. Another is a sensor-system set-up called QuietCare, and a third service combines both offerings.

QuietCare uses five to 10 sensors stationed throughout the home, located in such areas as near the bedroom door, bathroom door, refrigerator door and family room. The sensors transmit information to an ADT monitoring service, as well as an online account for the caregiver. Installation of the sensors costs $199, and the monitoring service costs $79.95 per month. An additional $100 is needed for the PERS system, and another $10 for that service.

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Webcams to monitor seniors inside their homes are also hitting the market. Last October, AT&T launched its Home Monitoring Service, which includes sensors and Webcams. And although the Webcams feature a privacy button, it can be overridden by the account holder.

"There needs to be a trust factor. If your mother pushes the privacy button, there needs to be some agreement you'll honor it, or agree to certain circumstances when you would override it," said Brad Bridges, AT&T assistant vice president of business development.

The Webcams are tied into motion-detector sensors, and provide a view into designated areas inside and outside the home. Alerts are sent to account holders if it detects movement, but the system currently does not send out alerts if it detects no activity.

The AT&T equipment is priced at $99. Any broadband service can be used by the caregiver and senior. The account holder, however, is required to have an AT&T wireless account.

The question, of course, is who will pay for this technology--insurance companies, the government, adult caregivers, or seniors on a fixed income?

"A lot of people think insurance companies should pay for it," Home Guardian's Kell said. "Right now, it's the consumer who pays for these types of systems."

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8 comments

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Who will pay?
"A lot of people think insurance companies should pay for it," Home Guardian's Kell said. "Right now, it's the consumer who pays for these types of systems."

Of course, we'll make the insurance companies pay! Insurance rates will go up further, and then we'll gripe when another 10-million or so consumers decide that they can't afford insurance anymore.
Posted by JohnMcGrew (50 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Medical alerts
Not only is finding what fits your situation and pocketbook difficult, so is trusting someone you don?t know to take care of your loved ones. Whether it is a disabled child, elderly adult, or someone just coming out of the hospital, we all know of someone that needs just a little extra help. Not always can we be there for them 24 hours a day. But I have found ResponseLINK, and they make it possible to have the 24 hour security that is needed. With 24 hour a day emergency response, voice to voice audio, live operator assistance when the button is activated, meal and prescription reminders this has taken a lot of stress off of my home life! If you haven?t yet checked into emergency medical alerts, here is the link www.ResponseLINK.com.
Yes we are paying for them at this point, but I do feel that insurance should help the cause, simply put, if they helped offset the cost with the alerts, then that would in return help keep some people out of nursing care, to which would help lower the over all cost of health care and insurance. We need to look at the bigger picture here.
Posted by whisper71 (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
The <a href="http://www.baskenterprisesllc.com/PersonalEmergencyResponseSystem/">personal emergency response system</a> market has changed a lot in recent years, and is continuing to evolve. Some recent developments include automatic fall detection, two-way voice included in the transmitter device, and GPS location. PERS technology is advancing quickly; it's quite exciting.
Posted by Andy_PERS (1 comment )
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Medical Alarm bracelets and necklaces are moving right along with the rest of technology. It seems to me that even in the hopefully near future, that we will all have a device that we could initiate for problems that may arise. Whether medical, life threatening or problematic. I hope that we do not take advantage of this power of these medical alert devices and that we will be able to get the most of them.
Its amazing to me how many older people with medical conditions are not taking advantage of medical alarm bracelets or necklaces. I dont know all the facts but I do know that older people are also getting broken into their homes more often as well, so this medical alarm could not only save your life in a health matter, it could also help you in a serious situation.

<a href="www.lifelinkmedicalalert.com">medical alarm </a>
Posted by brianhutchins (4 comments )
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ive been so impressed by how much a medical alert device can help a family member. We purchased one from Critical Signal Technologies and have never regretted the purchase of our personal emergency response system http://www.criticalsignaltechnologies.com/
Posted by weakkneeswillie089 (8 comments )
Reply Link Flag
As my parents are getting older I am relying more and more on technology to help with dispensing medication for them. I am so happy to here that there is technology out there like this. It will make things easier for both them and for me. (http://www.calvinscottinc.com)
Posted by natdalton (5 comments )
Reply Link Flag
My Aunt's <a href="http://www.alert-1.com">Medical Alert Bracelet</a> is great for my peace of mind. My aunt is 96 years old and lives alone. With a bracelet from Alert1 I know she has help 24/7.
Posted by Kara_Jeanne (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Man, you gotta love technology these days. Alert1 has a very similar accessory that resembles the aforementioned. The accessory piece is called the MedReady Medication Reminder & Organizer and it can be found here: http://www.alert-1.com/products/medready-medication-dispenser-reminder-and-organizer/206
Posted by Alert1_Medical (1 comment )
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