An SOS service for the elderly which turns any mobile phone into a personal alarm promises to save families and the NHS millions of pounds a year.
My SOS Family allows pensioners to alert relatives by touching a single button on a mobile phone if they suffer a fall or health emergency. The system then auto-dials, texts and emails relatives, who can then respond accordingly.
Families currently pay up to £500-a-year for a manned call centre-based monitoring systems which operate via pendants worn around the neck. But My SOS Family costs just £30-a-year and can be used from any existing mobile phone.
The service is the brainchild of Moony Victoire-Nijjar, who started working on the idea two years ago when his mother-in-law was diagnosed with dementia.
He said: “Modern life has displaced families and it’s difficult to create community security.
“Our goal to bring back those lost community values that protected the elderly and vulnerable”.
Families and councils currently pay between £200 and £300 per year for manned call centre alert systems. These work by pendants alerting a call centre, which then make contact with relatives who can come to the aid of a loved-one.
But Moony, a married father-of-two from Bromley, Kent, said: “I realised these places are basically call centres where staff simply ring around your relatives until somebody responds.
“I thought there must be a more efficient way of doing things with the technology that we all carry around in our pockets.”
His solution is an alert system which automatically phones and messages a pre-stored unlimited number of contacts in the event of an emergency. All the user needs is a mobile phone or their home phone which has a pre-set number key to press in an emergency.
The My SOS Family system then dials, texts or emails any number of family contacts to alert them until someone ‘responds’ to the call and informs everyone else that they have taken responsibility. Because there are no call centres involved, the system costs just 8 pence per day.
If the system were implemented in councils, it could save millions and allow more people to access community support at a fraction of the current cost. With councils spending £65millon per year on telecare monitored systems, My SOS Family could save local authorities a fortune.
The system could also enable elderly patients to be discharged from hospital sooner, helping to slash the estimated £900million annual cost of delays in discharging patients to the NHS.
Moony, the founder and CEO of My SOS Family, said: “Our technology not only reconnects communities, it actually helps create connected communities, bringing back the best of those golden values that protected the elderly and vulnerable.”
My SOS Family is currently available online at www.mysosfamily.com.