Bracelet for locating Alzheimer patients by GPS and GSM phone launched
23 November 2006 Deutsch
There are currently nearly 600,000 diagnosed Alzheimer's sufferers in Spain,
some 60% of whom experience problems of disorientation and can become lost.
In an attempt to offer a solution to this difficult situation, Medical
Mobile Seguridad, Telefónica Móviles España and Eulen Servicios
Sociosanitarios, together with the CEAFA (the Spanish Confederation of
Families of Sufferers of Alzheimer's Disease and other Dementias) have
unveiled the Columba bracelet.
The bracelet, which integrates a mobile
telephone system, intelligent alerts and localisation via satellite (GPS),
allows the Alzheimer patient to be located if they are lost or disoriented
and also to establish immediate contact with them. "This new mobile
localisation system will give peace of mind to the relatives and carer of
the patient and, at the same time, prevent the dramatic situations that can
occur when the sufferer cannot be located and they do not remember who they
are", explained Emilio Marmaneu, the Chairman of CEAFA.
patented by the Canadian company Medical Intelligence Technologies Inc.
(TSX: MIZ), whose subsidiary in Spain is Medical Mobile Seguridad, the
Columba has been introduced into Spain by Telefónica Móviles España and
Eulen Servicios Sociosanitarios, whose networks will support the telephone
and mobile data transmission services.
The Columba is based on an
intelligent detection and alert programme, a geo-location system using GPS
and a GSM/GPRS transceiver that integrates a movistar SIM card. The result
is a watch-sized bracelet that allows the Alzheimer sufferer to move around
without restricting their liberty.
If the wearer of the Columba bracelet
leaves their habitual geographic area, which has been previously defined by
their relatives or carers, the device automatically sends out an alert to
advise those responsible for the patient.
The wearer of the bracelet can
be located immediately — through a telephone assistance centre that operates
24 hours a day, 365 days of the year — and the patient can be contacted
using the device's hands-free function.
"Three years of research stand
behind the technology and efficiency of Columba, which has enjoyed great
success in France and is now being introduced into Spain in order to make
life easier for sufferers and carers alike. In Medical Mobile we are
confident that our efforts will give more security to Alzheimer's sufferers
and greater peace of mind to those who surround them." said Louis
Massicotte, President and Founder of Medical Mobile Seguridad and the
creator of the bracelet.
"The Columba is a clear example of the huge
potential that GPS and mobile phone technologies have to offer in the
creation of new services aimed at people who suffer from spatial and
temporal orientation and cognition problems", stated Doctor Juan Manuel
Martínez Gómez, General Director of Eulen Servicios Sociosanitarios.
Telefónica we have spent many years developing applications related to
health and Telemedicine issues and collaborating with leading companies in
our desire to improve the quality of life for everyone, especially those who
suffer from some form of disability. Thanks to the mobile 'phone, this
objective is now easier to achieve, We are delighted to have the possibility
of collaborating in this ground-breaking project with partners like Medical
Mobile, Eulen and CEAFA", added Rafael de Sádaba, the Sectorial Relations
and Social Development Director of Telefónica España.
not only affects the patient, it changes the life of the entire family,
especially that of the principal carer, for many long and difficult years.
When the Alzheimer sufferer begins to lose their capacity to recognise their
family environment or to forget their name and address, episodes of
wandering off and disorientation become a reality and bring with them daily
anxiety for all those who care for the patient.
In order to prevent the
patient from getting lost, those who care for them may even stop going out
themselves, which makes it difficult to lead a normal social life. The
Columba Bracelet offers an alternative solution.