Smart watch gives carers and patients "peace of mind"
After realising the limitations of the tradition emergency neck pendant their father had been using following a stroke, two Sydney brothers came up with a novel way to keep a close eye on him.
Paul Apostolis and Peter Apostopoulos decided to develop an emergency smart watch, a world first, after finding out the traditional pendant was only effective within a 50-metre radius of the home phone line.
"My father is quite independent; he loves to go on his daily walks," Apostolis said.
"We realised we needed to develop something that would work outside of homes, so that's where the personal emergency alarm came into it.
"Peter worked with a lot of retirement villages and independent living facilities and there was a real big need for something like our product."
The device, called the SOS Mobile Watch, boasts a waterproof smartphone, location tracker (using GPS, GSM and WiFi), an emergency alarm, and has a red SOS button that dials three pre-set contact numbers.
It can also provide reminders for medicines and appointments, has a pedometer, and allows the maker to make hands-free two-way calls. A perimeter safe-area function can be activated, sending notifications to the carer when the watch exits the area.
The watch can synced with iPhone and Android apps and a carer's web dashboard, enabling their patient to be closely monitored.
Apostolis said it hasn't just been relatives of the elderly and those with a disability that have expressed interest in the watch.
"The health sector – nurses, occupational therapists and doctors – have been recommending our product as well," he said.
"We realised there's a real big demand. For the nurses, they can monitor where their patients are at any given time. It's also easy for the patient to use – they are finding that they are not restricted to a room or within a particular facility.
"If ever anything was to happen to the wearer, all they would need to do would be to press the SOS red button and it will automatically call a monitoring service or it could be a family member or a carer.
"It's an ageing population and what we want to do is offer that peace of mind for the carer and also the wearer."
The brothers launched the watch through their health technology business mCareWatch and are planning to release its third edition later this year, which will feature Bluetooth and be able to measure blood pressure and blood sugar.