With the push of a button or a simple voice-command, seniors can now extend their ability to live independently by 2-5-10 years with a new device called “The Q Watch”.
Designed for the 21st century, The Q technology takes the “help I’ve message” into the future, by providing a total solution to the needs of the elderly. It’s a computer, phone, video camera, GPS, Blue Tooth and digital storage device., allowing the wearer to be connected 24 hours a day, anywhere they travel. Each device is unique programmed to the senior’s specific needs, with emergency assistance available through a medically trained call center.
In case of a fall where the wearer can’t respond, the Q-Watch reverse calls the wearer, when alerted, and can visually identify the situation, send an ambulance, call the Q-Watch owners’ contacts and instantly transfer the wearer’s medical records to the hospital’s emergency room.
The device is the invention of Dr. Richard Walters , an emergency medical specialist who’s spent 30 years caring for the elderly. Dr. Richards explains, “ typically, on one hand you have an aging parent determined to remain independent, pitted against the children who fear their loved one might not be safe living alone”. “Falls are the leading cause of fatal and non-fatal injuries to seniors, and we knew if we could address that specific need with an immediate response, no matter where someone fell or what their condition, we were on the way”, states Dr. Walters. Walters’ team then moved on to developing software that would capture, retain and transfer individual medical records, which, in an emergency room admission, can save 7-10 minutes in allowing medical staff to immediately attend to the needs of the patient.
Features that are unique to the Q-Watch device include patented technology that allows the watch to remain on the wearer’s wrist 24/7. There’s no need to remove the device for battery charging, or even during showering. “The idea is to have our device provide a constant connection between the wearer, the family and their medical professionals. The owner can’t lose it and can’t forget it somewhere, which is the assurance the wearer is completely protected, allowing them to feel safe while carrying on with their lifestyle.” The Q-Watch also features a “geo-fence” option as a safeguard for wearers with memory issues, a video camera that is voice-activated by the wearer, and it’s a cell phone, replacing the need to carry an additional expensive device.
What is also different about the Q-Watch is that the company doesn’t allow owners to program their own devices. Walters believes that accurate programming is critical to the success of the product. “Whenever I see a device that states it’s ‘easy to program’, I guarantee it either won’t be done properly or won’t be up-to-date, which makes the product useless.”
Walters adds, “as a doctor who has worked with the elderly for 30 years, I see their resistance to complicated technology. Many seniors will not embrace technology with big learning curves, and that’s why our startup is more than a product. It’s also a service, and we take pride in the fact the Q is foolproof; therefore ‘instantly usable’.”
According to Dr. Walters, the alpha version about to be introduced is a first generation product to incorporate the primary medical needs of the elderly. Already in planning is a second generation device which will add a complete suite of “concierge” services – from transportation to house-call medical attention, home repairs and ala carte services to assist seniors in every area of their independent living needs.