For the elderly, safety and security are of paramount importance. LifeCare in Singapore has brought out a suite of products designed for this specific purpose. Known as Smart EARS (Smart Emergency and Attendant Response Service), it contains several products that can be separately configured. The suite is structured around a communications framework that is used by all their products.
Common to all the variants in the suite is the Astralink LifeTouch 2.0, a 7 inch LED internet connected gateway. This device supports a wide range of communication protocols in order to provision various sensors, and to connect them to the AT.Things Cloud. The AT.Things cloud is where the major data storage and processing happens, including data analysis and profiling. The LifeTouch 2.0 gateway also includes a speaker phone and is capable of a two-way internet call.
When alerts are generated by the system, they are provided as push notifications through the LifeCare mobile app which is available for both Android and iOS platforms. The framework supports three levels of responses. The first two are meant for family and friends and up to four users can be registered. Initially the first level is notified. If there is no response within a programmed period, the second level users are notified. The third level is meant for optional (and often subscription based) professional responders.
Safety and Security
There are two general purpose products available from LifeCare called Safety and Security. Safety is about fire and gas leakage detection. It comes with a smoke detector and a gas detector. Both these detectors connect to LifeTouch 2.0. In case of an incident, they emit a loud warning and alert is sent to the homeowners and any other configured recipients. The recipients of the alert have the option of calling home or directly calling fire services.
The Security product is meant for home security. The sensors available in this package are a surveillance camera, door sensor which detects door opening and closing, a motion sensor and a siren. An incident will result in an alert being sent as before, and the option of calling the police.
Care and Care plus
These products are specifically designed to provide safety for the elderly. The Care package is probably the most comprehensive of all the products in the suite. It consists of a panic button, door sensors and several motion sensors. The motion sensors are meant to be placed around the house. Each of these devices connects with the LifeTouch 2.0 gateway. Data collected by the motion sensors is analyzed and profiled in the AT.Things cloud to identify patterns of activity. Over time the system gets familiar with the daily activities of the elderly resident. Besides the activity breakdown, special consideration is given to sleep and wake times, bathroom usage and activity over a 24 hour period. If any abnormality is found in the behaviour an alert is raised, and triggers the two level push notifications. A third level of alert is available on subscription. This goes to a 24×7 call centre which can ensure a response from professional responders. A similar alert is generated when the panic button is pressed.
Care plus provides a shower proof wearable fall detector. When a fall is detected an alert is generated with the same multi-level alert as described earlier.
For the elderly, safety at home is usually associated with activity / inactivity monitor, fall detection, fire safety and intruder alert. LifeCare’s Smart EARs covers all these aspects very effectively, making it one of the most comprehensive safety systems available. What is significant is that once the LifeTouch 2.0 framework is in place, any new devices can be easily added. The sensors use a wireless mesh network to ensure that there are no blind spots within the operational area. On the alert side, two levels of family and a third level of professional responders ensures that an emergency situation will not go unnoticed and help is always at hand.