While personal emergency response systems are aplenty, offering quick and easy access to paramedics or the police, a new device aims to help you whenever you're feeling scared, lost, or uncertain whether or not you need to alert emergency services.
Great Call's 5Star Responder - reportedly one of the first truly mobile personal emergency response systems to hit the market -- is a tiny, pocket-sized gadget with a speaker and microphone that clips onto a keychain.
Released this week in the US and Canada, it features a single button to connect you to a certified response agent 24/7, who can assess your situation and connect you to 9-1-1, a nurse, or other assistance. Agents can then locate you via GPS and access your personal profile and medical history for emergencies. An accompanying iPhone app offers similar functionality.
A competing device from LifeComm, expected to release later this year in North America, comes in the shape of a wristwatch, pendant, or belt clip with a large button for emergency response. Primarily marketed to seniors and their caregivers, the device features GPS tracking, an on-call "emergency response specialist" with two-way voice communication, and automatic fall detection.
The 5Star Responder is available for $49.99 at GreatCall's website and will soon be available for purchasee at major retailers such as Sears and Best Buy. Both the device and app require a $14.99 monthly subscription.
According to tech blog Mobihealthnews, this summer GreatCall launched its emergency response service via mobile phones and released its first iPhone app, which includes medication lists and pharmarcy listings.