Caring for Alzheimer’s and dementia patients can be difficult, and it’s easy for that care itself to have adverse effects on the patients. Autonomy is often sacrificed to ensure safety, which is understandable, but can be dismaying to an elderly adult, who could become despondent about not being able to do anything by themselves.
Watchie is an attempt at mitigating those difficulties, creating a watch-wristband equipped with u-blox’ CellLocate technology. That technology is essentially a beefed up GPS chip that uses GPS satellite information and mobile phone positioning data to provide accurate GPS information, regardless of GPS signal strength. It also uses a SIM-card, which allows for Watchie to work in 145 countries.
The main function of Watchie is the use of SafeZones and alerts. Caregivers can create SafeZones using the on-board GPS technology. The caregiver will receive an alert if the wearer leaves that area. The watch also has a panic button that the wearer can press, which immediately transmits location data. A G-Sensor can detect sudden movement, so if the wearer falls down, an alert will be immediately sent to the wearer. Privacy settings on Watchie can be adjusted, but it is possible for the wearer to make their GPS location unknown, unless alerts are triggered or the panic button is pressed. Battery life is designed to last for weeks.
Watchie looks to be a pretty impressive piece of tech that does well in respecting the privacy and dignity of those suffering from Alzheimer’s or dementia, while still providing a full range of tools for caregivers to make sure their loved ones stay safe. You can take a look at the Watchie website for more information and to buy a unit. Pricing details have not been made public, but the device is promised to be inexpensive.