Every week I’m guaranteed to see a Gray Alert on my Twitter feed or a flyer in my neighborhood here in New York concerning an elderly person who’s gone missing. Usually it’s a person with Alzheimer’s or dementia who accidentally wandered from home and didn’t come back.
Taking care of someone with either of these conditions is difficult, especially when you’re trying to balance their desire for dignity with your need to keep them safe. A new device called Watchie seeks to help with this issue and offers caregivers some peace of mind.
Watchie looks and is worn just like a watch and includes GPS technology and a SIM card for accurate tracking both indoors and out. Caregivers can set up specific safe zones and get alerts when the wearer leaves those zones or the wearer can press a panic button if they find themselves lost with no idea how to get home.
Caregivers can see where the Watchie is via a website or an app for their iPhone or iPad. There doesn’t appear to be an Android version yet.
The built-in accelerometer can also alert caregivers to sudden falls just in case the wearer isn’t able to press the panic button.
Despite the constant connection to cell towers and GPS satellites, the company behind Watchie claims that the device can go several days or weeks without needing a charge.
Watchie works in over 140 countries and is set to launch soon.