mCare’s $499 smart watch taking elderly care by the wrist (published in The Australian)
This article was originally written for The Australian by Joseph Lam and appeared online and in print on November 23, 2022.
Before we share the actual article, we wanted to highlight how special The Australian is for our brand as it was the first news outlet that interviewed our Founders, Paul Apostolis and Peter Apostolopoulos when they first launched the mCareWatch. Back in 2012, it was the first generation smartwatch and since then a number of new, improved variations to both the device and the software application, ConnectiveCare® have been made.
Inspired by a personal story, Paul and Peter decided to take action when their Father, Michael had a stroke. They pretty much created the smart watch taking elderly care by the wrist and enabling so many elderly citizens to live independently longer.
We hope you enjoy this article and also learn more about our products that amongst other things, monitor the elderly and the vulnerable.
mCare Digital has released a new $499 watch to help care for the elderly with built-in emergency contact features.
In a not-so-distant future, the kids whose parents kept a close eye on them via smart watches and location tracking will see the tables turned.
Their kids, once grown, will use similar technology to help respond to falls and other accidents in a timely manner as their parents reach the later stages of life.
For many, this has long been a reality. Technology is increasingly being used to monitor the elderly and the vulnerable, from earpods that double as hearing aids to smart watches that can be used to call family in emergencies.
Local elderly care technology company mCare is one such provider which has, since 2013, sold about 10,000 watches that can provide digital care.
The Australian got its hands on one of the devices to try its fall detection, medication reminders and SOS calling features. Queue the welfare check.
But the mCare Watch does punch above its weight in other areas. Up first: fall detection.
One somersault and five burpees later and the alarm did not go off. But in mCare’s defence and testament to my old judo coach, Mr Kim, that may have been a little more to do with technique than the watch.
The GPS accuracy could not be faulted. We tested the device in several locations in Surry Hills, Sydney, all of which gave the correct address each time.
Welfare checks, which can be sent via a mobile app or via the online platform, are a handy feature that, when not responded to within seconds, default to a phone a call.
For dementia patients, mCare can adjust the watch’s features so it can automatically answer calls from a carer or guardian.
That feature was well received by Dementia Choices, which gave the product its tick of approval.
The watch can be used to enforce a ‘geo-fence’ to alert carers and family when the wearer may have travelled too far from home.
The Dementia Centre, which vets products for approval, does remind customers that “this type of product can sometimes provide a false sense of security” and that users should assess whether the features are feasible.
Other dementia-focused features include a “geo-fence”, a tool that allows a carer to set a safe boundary that will notify one of up to six people should the wearer cross it.
The device does have Wi-Fi and Bluetooth capabilities for connecting with blood pressure devices and the likes of hearing aids.
The verdict? This could save a life. In the grand scheme of things, it’s a small price to pay for peace of mind. Users will need an subscription of $35-$49 a month to cover data, call time and messaging.