The London Economic

Elderly people at risk of falling can now shout to Alexa for help

Elderly people are at the highest risk of falling, but now they can shout to Amazon’s voice-activated service Alexa for help.

It works by integrating with My SOS Family, a service which can turn any mobile phone into a personal alarm system for the vulnerable.

And now it’s become available on Amazon’s Echo device, which triggers commands when the user activates it by saying the name ‘Alexa’.

This innovation has allowed anyone who suffers a fall to simply shout “Alexa, start My SOS Family” and the system will promptly alert preset emergency contacts that help is needed.

According to the World Health Organisation, 37.3 million falls occur each year that are severe enough to require medical attention, with adults over the age of 65 being at risk most.

The service was created by Moony Victoire-Nijjar, who was inspired to start working on the idea two years ago when his mother-in-law was diagnosed with dementia.

He said: “As soon as we saw what Alexa could do, and that the Echo Dot was less than £50 to buy, we thought it was perfect for our system.

“It makes it easy for the elderly to use technology just by talking, so it’s the perfect extension to the My SOS Family alert assistant.”

This service will hopefully help to bring medical attention to those in need, potentially reducing the amount of fatalities caused by falls, the second leading cause of accidental or unintentional injury deaths worldwide.

The original SOS service was devised to save families money on traditional call-centre operating systems, which can cost as much as £300 a year.

These services require the pendant to alert a call-centre, which then makes a call to relatives to come to the aid of their loved one.

But the service created by Moony, a married father of two from Bromley, costs just £30-a-year and can be used with any existing mobile phone, giving worried families peace of mind while avoiding the high call-centre fees.

Pensioners can alert relatives by touching a single button on any mobile phone if they suffer a fall or other health emergency.

The system auto-dials, texts and emails relatives, who can then come to the attention of their loved one in need.

Amazon’s Echo device is available to purchase for as little as £49.99 and is capable of carrying out hundreds of voice-activated commands such as playing music or reading the news.

It takes just 5 minutes for users to link their My Family SOS account to their Echo device which eliminates the need for pensioners to touch a button.

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