Mobile PERS Offers Profitable Perks
Mobile Personal Emergency Response Systems (mPERS) is becoming a much larger greenfield than it was initially portrayed, partially because of advances in technology but also innovation. In its early stages it was played out as a way to provide medical monitoring for those who were not homebound but still potentially needed assistance if they had some kind of medical emergency, got lost or were in an accident. What the early pioneers quickly realized was not only was there a market for traditional mobile medical monitoring but that there could be a suite of services aimed at different age groups.
The three age groups typically targeted for mPERS offerings are: children ages 0 to young adults; middle-aged adults (specifically those starting to see health issues such as diabetes, heart or other chronic problems); and the elderly. There is also a subset of these referred to as lone workers or people who are routinely completely alone or meeting other strangers in the field such as real estate agents.
Each of these groups represents security dealers and monitoring providers with some incredible opportunities as well as their own set of challenges. While this article will skim the surface of what’s being done out there in the mPERS space, the possibilities are endless for those who are creative and entrepreneurial.
Keeping Tabs on the Young
Looking first at the application for assisting in cases of lost individuals, different service offerings are necessary depending on the scenario.
To illustrate this, when a child gets lost you would want to reunite them with their parents, knowing where both the lost child and the parents are in relation to each other and be able to talk to the child, calm them and also get directions for the parents at the same time. That is very different from a 30-year-old who’s lost in a strange city and needs to get to a hotel. You now become more of a concierge. On the other end of the spectrum, you might have an Alzheimer’s patient who is lost, has no idea where or who they are, is likely to be confused or angry and may not want help. All have the same problem but all require very different responses and services.
With younger subscribers, the typical applications are making sure that kids or young adults are getting to and from places safely, and if an emergency arises they have the ability to summon help. With smaller children, you can create geo-fences that are virtual fences based upon geographical coordinates. Then if you move in or out of one of these areas predetermined results can happen.
Geo-fences can be as small as a typical residential lot or as large as a country. A good example would be to geo-fence the home and school. As the child leaves the home, the parents would get an alert and when the child arrives at the school the parents receive another. Central station automation can be set up so that once the child leaves the home they are expected to get to the school within a predefined time window.
The other popular service for young adults is speed. With speed tracking you can create alerts and events based upon land speed, so if a customer’s teenager is going 100 mph down the freeway predetermined results can occur. Text or E-mails can be sent during daytime hours, but also with a central station either live operators or interactive voice response (IVR) systems call the parents with the speed, the nearest address and the general direction of travel.
There has also been a lot of work done on not only dedicated devices but also smartphone apps. One of the more popular apps parents like to get for young drivers also prevents them from texting when traveling more than 2 mph.
Monitoring Middle-Aged Health
With middle-age subscribers, we start to migrate away from geo-fencing and speed alerts to more of a lifestyle and health monitoring application, along with emergency or executive protection elements. As we approach the 40-plus age range, subscribers are now looking to manage health issues with onboard real-time monitoring of things like glucose levels, heart rate, hydration percentages, distance walked as well as other general overall health indicators. These can now be tracked and trended with the ultimate goal in preventative health care, prompting the user to make lifestyle changes before it’s too late to make a change.
You are also starting to see social networks take in data from devices and applications like these. An example is a network where it has become a competition to walk or run the most miles a day or week within your group. Winners get points and are competing with each other in almost real-time.
There is also a growing trend of executive safety concerns, making sure that people are where they are supposed to be. Making sure the devices are active and moving, and at a global level sending security or rescue forces to aid in whatever emergency exists. Some of these systems are satellite-based and literally work anywhere there is clear sight to the sky. Imagine being seriously injured or lost in the middle of nowhere, pressing a button and within seconds getting a message back that help is on the way. Today this is a reality not a dream.
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