By: Aleksa Krolls, intern, AARP Office of International Affairs Publish Date: July 23, 2013

Australian personal care technology company mCareWatch has developed a new mobile personal device to help meet the challenges of an aging population. The SOS Mobile Watch looks and functions like an ordinary watch, but has many added features of a smartphone, including a medical alert system. Although there are a number of emergency personal alarms on the market, many of those require the wearer to stay within distance of a base station. While such devices can limit the independence of the wearer, the SOS Mobile Watch allows the wearer to move freely with peace of mind.

The mobile phone functionality allows the wearer to receive all phone calls with a touch of a button. If wearers are in an emergency situation, they can press the SOS button and the ‘watch’ calls a predefined list of contacts. The device also works as a two-way walkie-talkie. If the wearer is unable to answer the phone, authorized contacts can send an SMS command to the watch, automatically opening a two-way voice call without the watch wearer having to press a button. The family member, friend or contact can also locate the wearer on their smart phones using GPS technology built into the watch. The device features an alarm clock as well, which can be used for medication or meal reminders. The SOS Mobile Watch allows wearers to live independently, but securely, reassured by the fact that they can connect with their family and friends anytime, anywhere.

SOS Mobile Watch is currently available for purchase online in Australia. It can be rented on a monthly data plan just like a mobile phone, or it can also be purchased outright. Both payment options cover the watch and charger along with emergency calls, SMS and data charges. The company is targeting individual consumers initially, especially the elderly who wish to continue living independently. mCareWatch hopes to later expand its market and partner with aged care providers, particularly those who provide independent living accommodation.

Wearers of the SOS Mobile Watch can continue to live mobile, active and independent lives. They and their friends and family can be sure that, if needed, help is literally at hand.

See more: http://www.aarpinternational.org/resource-library/resources/sos-mobile-watch-doubles-as-medical-alert-system-and-mobile-phone