Philips puts nail in pendant alarm coffin

Philips’s US Lifeline operation has just announced the introduction of a pendant alarm (medical alert/PERS) with a built-in fall detection system that automatically raises an alert call if a fall is detected and a button press is not made within 30 seconds – if the person is unconscious, for example. However, should the person recover and get up within the 30 seconds, the alert call is not made. This is marketed as to save the person embarrassment. I suspect it is to reduce the large number of false positive alerts they are expecting.

Telecare Aware readers will immediately seize on the fact that there are lots of if’s and but’s to this development and it would be interesting to see how Philips intend to cover themselves when it comes to the times when it does not provide the help their customers will be expecting.

However, what struck me is that while the whole telecare field in the UK was a reaction to the shortcomings of ‘traditional’ pendant alarms, this is the first time a major pendant-dependent company (in the US, at least) has implicitly acknowledged them. Sound of one nail going in…

Philips Lifeline with AutoAlert Option webpage – do watch the video.

Thanks to Laurie Orlov’s blog for the heads-up on this development. There is discussion going on there about the marketing approach being adopted.

2 thoughts on “Philips puts nail in pendant alarm coffin

  1. Philips own goal?

    Are you suggesting that Philips has scored an own goal? I think to some extent you might be right in that – this is definitely an acknowledgment that pendant alarm on its own is of limited value.

    Anyway, genuinely good for them for trying to make it better. My concern would be that lots of fall detectors on the market yield lots of false positives – in fact I know of several older people who have STOPPED wearing their fall detectors because of this problem. I am told this is common.

    If this hasn’t been resolved, then they may have inadvertently created a pendant alarm that encourages people to stop wearing it even faster than normal. It’s difficult enough to encourage people to wear their pendant alarm as it is!

    Naturally, this is not a problem if their fall detection tech/process is superb ..


    James Batchelor
    Alertacall Ltd
    Tenant safety confirmation

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