From: Neos Kosmos Saturday, 15 June 2013

A Greek Australian invention makes caring for the elderly easier, just by wearing a watch.

The ailing health of their father pushed brothers Peter Apostolopoulos and Paul Apostolis to get thinking on an easy way to help out. “Dad became disoriented while out with Mum one day,” Paul says. “He couldn’t speak properly and had difficulty driving but insisted that he was fine. By some miracle they made it home safely but it was clear that he wasn’t himself”.

In fact, as the family later discovered, Peter and Paul’s father had experienced a stroke.

“It was terrifying to think that he’d been out and about driving when it happened and all of the risks associated with that. He and Mum didn’t want to make a fuss or ‘overreact’ by calling for emergency medical help, but if they could have easily contacted any of us we would have made sure he pulled over and called an ambulance, and he would have received treatment sooner,” he said. “Like many older people, our parents have a mobile phone, but seldom use it and its often left at home or uncharged – as in this case.”

For Paul, with a background in marketing, and Peter, whose career is in healthcare technology, this incident was a catalyst for their SOS mobile watch.

The watch makes it possible for family members or carers to be connected 24 hours a day. As well as telling the time, the ‘watch’ is an elderly monitoring and SOS alarm system with an emergency/medical alert call button, phone with sim card and GPS tracking device.

The watch works by connecting its wearer with up to three relatives or carers via their Smartphones or Android mobiles. As well as enabling carers to check on the wearer’s location (with tracking for Smartphones via Google maps and with Android via GPS technology), in an emergency wearers simply hit the SOS button and the watch will automatically call the connected carers.

Since their father’s stroke, he’s been the brothers’ guinea pig and has been trialling the watch for 18 months. The SOS Mobile Watch will be available on a two-year plan for $39 a month, or for $399 outright, which includes 12 months of data use.