Mobile health system connects people to emergency care at critical moments

Dallas, Texas — Until now, an elderly person suffering from a fall or heart attack could use a device around their neck to send for help – as long as they were at home. AT&T aims to beat this limitation with a mobile health (mHealth) solution that automatically connects people in distress to medical assistance, wherever they are located.

Equally importantly, the system should be able to actively track a person’s location in real time, and let neighbours, relatives or carers know when and where someone has suffered a mishap.

This mobile Personal Emergency Response System (mPERS) solution, being developed in collaboration with Valued Relationships Inc. (VRI) and Numera Libris™, plans to use machine-to-machine (M2M) connectivity to link people in distress virtually anywhere, at anytime to a professionally-staffed monitoring centre. Unlike current monitoring systems, which are often confined to a person’s home and require the individual in distress to manually press a button for assistance, AT&T’s mPERS solution is expected to automatically trigger a notification to the monitoring centre if something happens.

If a person wearing a small, portable mobile device suddenly falls, a sensor within the device alerts the monitoring centre without that person having to do anything. A professional from the call monitoring centre would attempt to reach the individual through instant two-way wireless voice communication enabled on AT&T’s network.

If staff at the centre decide further assistance is needed – or tghey are not able to get a response from the person – within minutes it would alert emergency services to send an ambulance or other emergency medical personnel, as needed.

The mPERS system is designed for elderly people living independently, who have disabilities, or are prone to falls. AT&T’s enterprise mPERS solution will be targeted at nursing agencies, adult day care services and other home care providers.

“This mHealth solution is an example of how innovative technology can revolutionise healthcare,” said Geeta Nayyar , M.D., chief medical information officer, AT&T ForHealth(SM), AT&T Business Solutions. “With the mPERS mobility solution AT&T is developing, older people will be able to live independently, but know that they are only seconds away from assistance if the need arises.”

“Even better, their friends, caregivers and relatives can be kept in the loop, if the user so chooses, so they can respond as needed,” she added. “It will transform the whole emergency response experience, by keeping everyone connected, informed and engaged in near real time. I can’t think of a better answer for an active, but ageing, baby boomer population.”

This solution will be part of AT&T’s complete suite of remote patient monitoring (RPM) care solutions, including the AT&T RPM Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) and an end-to-end managed RPM service. Together, these solutions will provide a foundation for full ageing-in-place care.

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