This course is a starting point for anyone who wants to know "Which emergency response system should I buy?".
Emergency response systems (medical alerts) are heavily marketed to older adults and their families, but it is extremely hard to find independent, objective analysis of what differentiates one from another. After studying more than 50 of these products, we have found big differences between individual products, and come to realize that choosing the right product for a specific individual is about far more than just price.
We have distilled the results of hundreds of hours of hands-on evaluation, and lots of Googling of websites, into a series of bite-size lectures. In less than an hour of total listening time, this course will give you an introduction to this important but confusing product category.
From this course, you will learn about:
Background to this course
Tech-enhanced Life is in the middle of a research project studying personal emergency response systems (PERS) for older adults. We want to answer questions like "Which emergency response (medical alert) is right for my parent, or for me?" And "Should I get an emergency response system, or not?"
In this course, we provide the results of the first part of this research project. This introduction will give you the basic tools for evaluating emergency response systems. In addition you will get an overview of our research project into emergency response systems — including who is doing the work, how we are doing it, and how the results will help people like you choose the right emergency response system for a specific individual.
Tech-enhanced Life, PBC is a Public Benefit Corporation with the mission of improving the quality of life of older adults and their families. Our focus is on finding ways that clever, technology-enhanced products can help overcome some of the challenges of aging, and compensate for functional decline. So that older adults and their families can spend more time doing what they love to do, and less time dealing with problems and worrying.
In this lecture, Dr. Caro introduces our research project on emergency response systems, explains briefly what we are trying to accomplish with this course, and outlines the agenda for the rest of the course.
Learn about why we are doing this research, and what questions we are trying to answer. See who is doing the work, and view the team backgrounds. Listen to an overview of our approach and methodology. And learn how we are making sure this work is independent and objective.
The simple overview of who wants an emergency response system and why they want it. Plus an introduction to the concept of personas, and how that is relevant to choosing the right system for a specific person.
After hundreds of hours of googling, buying the products, and testing them, we have decided that there are a handful of basic "flavors" of emergency response system. This section of the course describes them.
The "At home" flavor of emergency response system is the original tried and true version. Listen to this lecture to understand what these products can and cannot do.
The "Go Anywhere" flavor of emergency response is a relatively new concept, that leverages GPS and the cell network to "work anywhere". Listen to this lecture to understand what these products can and cannot do.
The "Portable Base station" flavor combines some of the strengths and the weaknesses of both the "At home" flavor of emergency response and the "Go Anywhere" flavor. Listen to this lecture to understand what these products can and cannot do.
The "Cellphone" flavor of emergency response holds great promise, but seems all too often to fall short of that promise due to the way it is implemented. Listen to this lecture to understand what these products can and cannot do.
Each emergency response system comes with some type of "wearable". These come in different flavors. In addition, there are a number of "micro-flavors" that are also important.
In this section, we look at the big decisions a potential user of an alert system needs to make in order to decide which types will work best for them.
Different people have different concerns and worries that they are hoping these products will help alleviate. We need to start by understanding which concerns matter most to the individual the system is meant to help.
Deciding who the responder will be has big implications for the way in which help will get summoned, and also for the overall system cost.
Whether the system needs to work everywhere or only at home is a very critical decision.
I have come to feel that choosing the right "wearable" is exceptionally important.
There are other important decisions to make. And four big questions to start the decision process.
Scientist turned entrepreneur. Strategic adviser to emerging growth companies. Occasional angel investor. 24 issued patents. Oxford PhD (Physics).
Dr. Richard G. Caro is co-founder of Tech-enhanced Life, a Public Benefit corporation with the mission of improving the quality of life of the aging and their families. He is also CEO of TangibleFuture, Inc., an interventional management consultancy.
Richard’s prior experience includes operational roles in high tech companies in Silicon Valley and Boston. He was CEO (founder) of Vital Insite, a venture-backed, medical device start-up, developing noninvasive monitoring products; Engineering Program Manager at Coherent, one of the world’s largest laser manufacturers; and CTO (employee #5) of Summit Technology, a pioneer in the laser refractive surgery (LASIK) business. Before entering industry, he was a member of the research staff at Stanford University.
Richard has been responsible for development of a number of successful products; has 24 issued patents; and received a Ph.D in Physics from Oxford University, where he was a Rhodes Scholar. He is an active member of several Silicon Valley angel investor groups, with a particular focus on the intersection of healthcare, aging, and technology.