Sydney, Australia, 6 May 2013: The real life family experience of two Australian brothers has inspired an all-new business that uses technology to help older people, their families and carers stay connected 24/7 – no matter where they are.
The new company, mCareWatch, founded by brothers Peter Apostolopoulos and Paul Apostolis, has just released its first elderly care alarm, the ‘SOS Mobile Watch’.
Discreet and lightweight, as well as telling the time, the ‘watch’ is an elderly monitoring and SOS alarm system with an emergency/medical alert call button, phone and GPS tracking device. It has been ‘A-tick’ certified and meets all the relevant Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) standards, and provides coverage of 97% of the Australian population via the Optus Mobile Digital network.
The SOS Mobile Watch is an inexpensive and easy-to-use solution to a problem that more and more Australian families – including brothers Paul and Peter – are experiencing: striking the right balance between helping elderly relatives and friends maintain freedom and independence, while making sure other family members and carers can keep track of their loved ones and their wellbeing.
It differs from conventional elderly SOS alarms and pendants (also known as Personal Emergency Response System or PERS devices) in a number of ways. It’s inconspicuous and blends easily with everyday wear. And, because its range is not limited by a ‘base station’, it works just as well whether wearers are at home or out and about: shopping, socialising and so on. It gives wearers all-important independence and mobility – and carers vital peace of mind. The technology is known as ‘next generation’ mobile PERS, or ‘mPERS’.
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 Androids via GPS technology), in an emergency wearers simply hit the SOS button and the watch will automatically call the connected carers.
As Paul Apostolis explains, the idea for the SOS Mobile Watch came after his own family had a scare.
“Dad became disoriented while out with Mum one day. 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,” he recalls.
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 it’s 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 some swift action.
Following market research and contacting leading aged care and community bodies, it became clear to both brothers that their family is not alone. In fact, there’s a whole ‘sandwich generation’ of Australians torn between the demands of work, caring for young families and caring for older parents or relatives.
Enter the SOS Mobile Watch.
“We see this as the perfect support for older people who are not ready to give up their independence and families who are worried about their whereabouts and wellbeing,” said Peter Apostolopoulos.
The SOS Mobile Watch is now available for purchase online from www.mcarewatch.com.au or over the phone by calling 1300 188 557. Families can choose from two affordable payment options: $399 upfront or $39 per month on a 24 month subscription plan. Both payment options include calls, SMS and data.
The SOS Mobile Watch arrives ready-to-use: pre-charged, pre-programmed with the nominated carers’ numbers and ready to link with the relevant Smartphones or Android mobiles through the Google App Stores.
To find out more about the SOS Mobile Watch call 1300 188 557.
For media enquires or an interview with Peter or Paul:
Media contact: Paul Apostolis
Tel: 0423 387 201
(Please note: Paul Apostolis changed his name from Apostolopoulos 21 years ago in the interests of those who had trouble spelling and pronouncing his family name.)