Guardian angel gadgets

Categories: Latest News.

The newspaper, Herald Scotland has a positive, all-round look at telecare and likes what it sees. So far so good, but this editor [Steve] has a problem with the leading example – a lady with epilepsy who has clearly been ‘sold’ on the benefits of her main telecare devices, a fall detector in a pendant and a bed sensor. Both are items that are notorious amongst services for generating false positive and false negative alerts. In the article she says she has lost count of the number of times they have been activated. This, it seems to me raises a real ethical issue: it is right that services should offer unreliable equipment to someone who relies on it so completely? Guardian angel gadgets.

Comments

  1. Charles Lowe

    Bed sensors and fall detectors

    I’ve just read the Scottish Herald article re Guardian angel gadgets and can find no reference in there to the devices being triggered for other than good reason. I’d suggest that the quote you highlight just reflects the fact that she’s had many fits. Cannot speak for all suppliers but the bed sensor we used in Newham for sensing fits when I was there seemed extremely reliable as long as there was only one person in bed and they were reading, resting or sleeping.

    On the wider front, I’d suggest the overwhelming majority of telecare service providers are pretty smart about false alerts and take action quickly to remove/replace such kit because false alerts cost so much to handle and respond to.

  2. David Doherty, mHealthInsight

    Tend to agree with Charles Lowe…
    Whilst I have no doubt there are more effective ways of cancelling inadvertent alarms (eg. use of automated dialers, SMS etc etc) these sensors are only alerting “call handlers” rather than visits from emergency services or carers. Also in the story I could find no evidence that this patient or the provider was effected by false negatives eg. where the alarm wasn’t raised when it should have been.