The World Health Organization (WHO) reported we are facing an unprecedented situation because the number of people aged 65 or older will outnumber children under age 5 globally. In its Global Health and Aging report, the organization estimates this older demographic is projected to grow to 1.5 billion people by 2050, almost triple the 524 million of 2010. The aging around the world is taking place along with urbanization and rapidly evolving technology, highlighting the need to provide solutions this group can integrate easily to improve their quality of life.
Unlike previous monitoring technology with very limited options, Lively has announced a personal emergency response (PERS) wearable watch addressing the needs of a population that is growing older and living longer than any other time in history.
The company said with this new platform older adults will have a device they can wear at all times. Whether they are in the home or outside, it allows their families to keep track of their whereabouts and the activities throughout the day.
Since Apple (News - Alert) announced its smart watch, the wearable sector has seen a spike in the number of products being introduced. What differentiates the Lively watch is the service it provides and its price point; only $49.95 compared to the hundreds of dollars Apple, Samsung (News - Alert) and others are charging.
The Lively safety watch has an easily accessible button for 24/7 emergency response along with missed medication reminders, a pedometer for step counting, automatic fall detection capabilities by early 2015, and notifications to any circle of people via email, text message or mobile app.
The system doesn’t need an Internet connection in the home, which is very important because statistically around 65 percent of older adults age 75+ lack internet access. The in-home hub uses a built-in cellular connectivity offering emergency response within 1,000 feet around the home or yard, and outside of the home it can be paired with a smartphone. The watch is waterproof and has a battery that holds its charge for up to six months, giving the user and their family ample time to ensure it is charged at all times.
“Personal Emergency Response devices are an enormously valuable concept, but they are worthless if people aren’t wearing them. Compliance with daily use is the biggest oversight with current offerings –older adults don’t like to admit it, and family members have no way of knowing otherwise,” said Iggy Fanlo, co-founder and CEO of Lively.
The company also made the device age-agnostic, meaning it doesn’t require any computer skill to use it, but if some individuals find it too difficult it can be set-up remotely by family members with automatic updates.
The aging process is something we will all go through, but as the WHO mentioned in the report, the global level of the 85-and-over population is projected to increase 351 percent between 2010 and 2050. As we continue to live longer, technology will play a bigger role in monitoring our health, safety and daily activity. The Lively safety watch is an early player in what will be a very lucrative market, which will undoubtedly be followed by the likes of Apple, Samsung and others.
Currently the service is available in the U.S. and Australia, with new markets to be announced in Q4 of 2014.
Edited by Maurice Nagle
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