From: PULSE+IT Magazine, 17th September 2013 By: Kate McDonald

Personal care technology company mCareWatch has made its anticipated move into residential aged care, launching a monitoring and support system called ConnectiveCare for aged and other care facilities. It has also signed up Anglican Retirement Villages (ARV), which intends to offer the technology to its independent living clients.

mCareWatch’s SOS Mobile Watch was officially launched in June and is aimed at elderly people living in their own homes, their carers and families. The device actually is a watch, but it also functions as a mobile phone, a GPS tracking device and a medical alert system.

The company has now launched ConnectiveCARE, a software platform that enables 24-hour connection between residents, community care clients and facility carers. That includes monitoring of residents’ whereabouts – both within the centre and outside of it – along with two-way voice connection for client and carer, be it in an emergency or for peace of mind.

Building on the features of the SOS Mobile Watch, ConnectiveCARE is aimed at larger scale care organisations and their residents, and a number of facilities are set to install it, the company’s co-founder, Peter Apostolopoulos, said. “While systems that monitor residents of care facilities are not new, typically they are inflexible and expensive,” Mr Apostolopoulos said. “They limit a facility’s ability to balance providing safety and security with the desire – indeed the right – of many residents and community care clients to enjoy maximum mobility and independence.

“ConnectiveCARE addresses those issues so care facilities can easily and cost-effectively deliver exactly the right level of monitoring and support to each and every resident, more accurately, more affordably and in a less labour- and resource-intensive manner than the alternatives.”

As well as its GPS and SOS functionality, the ConnectiveCARE system can send alerts when particular clients leave designated areas via a Geo-Fence functionality. Unlike conventional systems, boundaries for these zones can be tailored to suit client and facility need. It can also be programmed to differentiate between client ‘groups’ to accommodate different levels of care need and deliver an additional layer of safety and security when clients are outside the facility, on individual or group outings, for example. Mr Apostolopoulos said all a client needs to do is wear the watch, which is linked to the ConnectiveCARE platform, key caregivers and relatives via the mobile phone network.

ARV’s general manager for operations south, Allan Waters, said the organisation was keen to be involved in the technology.

“We are preparing to offer the watches to residents of some of our independent living villages, to help improve their independence and autonomy,” Mr Waters said.

“We feel that the technology adds a level of comfort and security for those people worried about a partner who may wander or have periods of forgetfulness. We are looking forward to trying this technology and exploring how else it might improve the lives of older Australians.”