Medical Alert Systems: How They Can Keep You Safe Around The Holidays

WPBF 25 News has declared Friday, December 18 as Medical Alert Day. The news channel discussed concussions and traumatic brain injuries. The NFL is in the center of a heated debate about its future with contact sports.

But concussions and brain trauma don’t just happen from contact sports. It can also happen to a senior citizen who slips and falls in a slippery bathroom or in an icy driveway. Dr. Barry Miskin, the co-medical director at Joe Namath Neurological Research Center, showed WPBF 25 News the scan of two brains, one of which had a concussion. The one that was suffering from a concussion had yellow halves. He explained what can happen when you experience this blow to your head.

“A lot of times when you get hit really hard, your brain can move to the other side and hit against the wall.”

Dr. Miskin says that a concussion experienced today can cause long-term health effects.

“You can feel it years down the road. You can have trouble sleeping, nightmares, chronic headaches, you can have problems that you don’t even imagine with memory or coordination and you may not realize it from an event 20, 30 years ago when you were a child, but it can happen.”

A medical alert system can help prevent these type of traumatic events from happening. With just a touch of a button, it can also help prevent an intruder from entering your home. A woman in Portsmouth, Virginia, used a medical alert system to call for help during a home invasion on early Wednesday morning of December 9.

The medics immediately responded to her call and then alerted police after learning that one person tried to force himself into her home and rob her. The woman, who was reportedly in her late 40s, was shoved by the intruder but was not hurt. She was then taken to the hospital as a precaution because of her existing medical conditions, according to WTKR News.

Medical Alarm [Photo Courtesy of Florian Fuchs/Wikimedia Commons]According to a recent market research report, the medical alert system market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.0 percent between 2015 and 2020. The key factor for the growth of the emergency response market is due to the aging population. Other factors include advanced technology that makes medical alert systems easy to use and the increasing number of smartphone owners who use mobile versions of these alert systems.

Mobile medical alert systems are also expected to grow at a high CAGR during the forecast period. Smartphone users have been increasing globally, which is increasing the need for mobile medical alert systems. Mobile medical alert systems are also gaining popularity since it allows senior citizens to go on vacation, enjoy the outdoors, and live their lives independently without having a nurse or caregiver around.

If you’re traveling this holiday season, mobile medical alert systems can protect you even while you’re away from home. The gadgets, which look like basic cellphones, link you to an emergency call with just a push of a button. Some devices even have GPS technology to help find out if you’re out of town or out of state. While these new features are amazing, there are some drawbacks, according to the Washington Post.

“They may not work as well indoors as a traditional system — and most falls and medical emergencies occur in the home, according to the National Safety Council. Their performance depends on a strong cellular connection, which may be weaker indoors. So if you don’t have good wireless coverage in your home or residential community, a mobile system may not be for you. And the GPS feature may not function well indoors.”

You may also have to charge them often, and they may cost more than traditional home-based emergency alert systems. Still, the one-button simplicity and GPS feature may be appealing, especially if you spend a lot of time away from home. If you’re on the market for a mobile alert system, look for one that has a cellular phone network with a 3G or 4G network, easy-to-use buttons, a necklace pendant or belt clip, a system that has its own U.S. monitoring system with trained emergency operators, and a monitoring center certified by Underwriter Laboratories.

Some of the best medical alert systems will include features such as GPS, 3G service, and two-way speakerphone communication.

[Photo Courtesy of Rtruo85 via Wikimedia Commons | Cropped and Resized | CC BY-SA 2.0]