The Future Of Medical Alert Systems

Amy Sullvian | 08.08.18 | 0 Comments

For the past five decades, we’ve been seeing incredible medical device advancements and countless medical alert system trends. For example, medical alert systems used to be static. That is, there was no portability associated with a life alert bracelet or any other medical alert product. Users only had the option for an in-home emergency system. In addition to this limitation, there was an even bigger problem with these devices that made them less useful as they are today. If you needed to call for help, you had to physically move from your position to the alarm itself to call for help.  Over time, more sophisticated devices were introduced, especially after the prevalent usage of wireless technologies.

In this article, we’ll explore potential future medical alert system trends to get an idea of what might be in store. You may be asking yourself: “What kind of features will medical alert systems of the future offer?” or “What kind of problems will they be able to solve?” In this article, we take a look at today’s medical alert system trends and offer our opinion about what to expect going forward.

Medical Alert Trends & Predictions

With the top medical alert systems of today, all you need to do is press a button on a small, wearable device to call for help. These devices are light, portable, and easy for most people to use. Regardless of where you are and the nature or extent of your emergency, you can get immediate medical attention. Moreover, with state-of-the-art automated fall detection technology, you don’t even have to press the button if you fall. Today’s medical alert devices can detect that you’ve fallen and instantly notify the operations call center.

1. Increased demand

After observing the medical alert system trends of the past few years, we can conclude that the demand for these systems is ever-increasing. Experts believe that the evolution of the industry will continue to bring new and dynamic trends in the years to come. Therefore, we can also expect more service providers to enter the market and revolutionize the industry. This may even bring about big industry paradigm shifts. A medical alert system trend from a decade ago is nothing like what we see today. Not only that, the systems themselves are more sophisticated than ever before. We can only expect them to get better as technology continues to evolve.

2. Built-in sensors

The current medical alert system trends focus on wearable pendants or bracelets. These provide an easy way for a person to connect with the help they need. In the years to come, we can expect these devices to be equipped with intelligent sensors that can detect when you’re in need of help. For example, if you suffer from chronic anxiety, the devices can detect whenever you’re having a panic attack by tracking your blood pressure. Similarly, it may be able to alert you about high or low blood glucose levels so that you can take the necessary action or automatically alert the operations center.

Another example is if you have a weak heart, the device can keep track of your heart rate. It can detect if your heart rate goes under or over the preset safe threshold. It would then issue an alert to the operations center or directly to an emergency responder who can then take immediate action. Because around 325,000 adults die from sudden cardiac arrest in the U.S every year, this type of feature will be lifesavers for hundreds of thousands of people suffering from heart problems.

The Future Of Medical Alert Systems senior woman pressing emergency button

3. Mobile app based medical protection

A majority of the leading life alert service providers have smartphone applications within their solutions. Today, these apps can help you keep track of your health and remind you when to take your medication. Mobile apps, like the one provided by MobileHelp, can also help neighbors or loved ones check on you as well. We expect these apps to get more sophisticated and offer a greater suite of features in the years to come. For example, we can expect to see medical alert system trends such as incorporating app and mobile usage into your cellular phone plan.

We may even get to the point where the devices and pendants themselves become obsolete. In this scenario, you’d simply install an application that’s sophisticated enough on its own to alert an emergency response center. In such futuristic solutions, there would be no need for users to wear any devices to stay safe and protected. Whenever they feel like they are in distress, they can simply press a button or issue a voice command to their smartphone which will trigger a call to an emergency respondent.

Moreover, cameras or microphones on a phone could connect an app to emergency responders so they can monitor you or predict a health emergency. This would help the operations center to have the most accurate information in order to ensure you get the right kind of help without delay.

4. Smartwatch protection

Smartwatches with medical alert functionality have entered the market in the last few years. In the future, we can expect this medical alert device trend to become more prevalent. These watches may replace the current pendants and bracelets. Many consider these devices to be a nuisance to wear or prefer to be more discreet and not advertise that they are wearing them.

Medical alert smartwatches can help monitor important indicators like blood pressure, heart rate, and anxiety levels. It’s possible that future versions will offer automatic fall detection as a standard feature or even the ability to communicate directly with an on-call nurse.

Medical Guardian is paving the way for this medical alert device trend. In 2018, they introduced a smartwatch that can use to set reminders for medication and calendar events. It can also send and receive text messages.

The Future Of Medical Alert Systems senior man checking watch

5. GPS-integrated systems

Some medical alerts systems already offer a GPS option. This gives caregivers or family members real-time updates as to the whereabouts of their loved ones. As a user of a GPS-integrated alert system, you can feel confident no one people who care for you can find you if you get lost or need to connect with you.

Future systems will incorporate advanced GPS features, such as fitness tracking for the number of steps taken per day. An example of an innovative GPS feature recently launched by LifeStation is called Find My Loved One. If your loved one is concerned about your whereabouts, they can simply send a text message to a designated number. Your loved one will receive a text message reply with your location. The text message will also include a link to view that location on a map.

6. Lightning fast response times

Even though modern medical alert systems have decent response times, we can expect them to decrease even further in the years to come. By diminishing different latencies and delays in cellular and other networks, companies should be able to bring the response times down to 5-10 seconds, if not lower.

Final word

In the years to come, we can expect medical alert systems to become more sophisticated than ever before. Even though modern medical alert systems are more efficient, portable, and fast than ever before, technology moves fast. So we can anticipate more innovation of these important systems in the future.

amy
Amy Sullvian
author

Amy has been working in the medical field since she qualified as a paramedic. She now works as a private consultant in geriatrics. She is a regular contributor to medical magazines and is currently working on a book dealing with geriatrics.

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