To panic or not to panic? The pros and cons of PERS

Sombit Mishra

A few days ago, Neil Versel from MobiHealthNews wrote a piece called Panic Buttons for Seniors Must Go

He's partially right.  Inasmuch as panic buttons are unlikely to protect seniors, either because seniors are unable or unwilling to press them in emergencies, there is a prevailing perception among caregivers that the panic button is a last resort option. To date, the panic button has been valued as a tool that can not only potentially save someone in case of a fall, but also protect them in the case of a home intrusion or other emergency event.

The November market report from Aging in Place Technology Watch reinforces that seniors are still more aware and likely to use panic buttons/personal emergency response solutions (PERS) and security alarms than technologies like electronic pillboxes and sensors that detect falls.  What's interesting about the chart below is that 60% of seniors also said that they would value and use an activity monitor.

In a market where family caregivers are often the purchaser, it would be interesting ask caregivers how much they value each of the solutions in the above chart.  Ultimately, it will be these common points between seniors and caregivers that prevail in the market.