Health-monitoring solutions from SecuraTrac can be effective in a variety of scenarios, from outpatient recovery to ensuring that employees with risky jobs in remote areas are able to work.
It is estimated that 76 million Americans were born between 1946 and 1964, the so-called “Baby Boom” generation. Even the youngest of the Boomers will turn 50 next year, an age where physical health begins to decline, often rapidly. Cardiovascular maladies, adult-onset diabetes and various forms of dementia and other neurological diseases are just a few of the concerns.
The challenge for the medical community is in tracking their whereabouts and monitoring various indicators to head off problems, which would be ideal--but at the very least they want to respond quickly and efficiently when trouble occurs.
SecuraTrac, which is based in Hermosa, Calif., recently introduced two solutions designed to accomplish these goals. SecuraPatch is a biometric sensor that is worn on the person and resembles a small bandage. It is waterproof—it can be worn in the shower—and has battery life of up to three days, after which it is replaced. Each patch costs $10, so users would expect to pay about $100 per month for the service.
“This is not for your average family that has a grandmother who lives by herself, and they’re just concerned about her falling,” said SecuraTrac CEO Chris Holbert. “This is more for early outpatient recovery.”
Indeed, the cost may well be justified for seniors with chronic health issues, as the patch continuously monitors a plethora of indicators, such as heart and respiratory rate, skin temperature and body position. If it senses an anomaly, it provides an alert—working in concert with the second solution, a wearable pendant dubbed Mobile Defender—to a centralized call center.
“SecuraPatch and Mobile Defender talk to each other using Bluetooth low energy, BLE 4.0 and greater,” Holbert said. “Together they will do some automated things. For example, if your heart rate goes below a threshold that’s specified—let’s say 50 beats a minute—or, if your respiration rate goes above a certain threshold and you start hyperventilating, or if you’ve fallen, all of those would cause the Mobile Defender to send an SOS-type signal to a central monitoring station.”
Those monitoring the station are able to communicate with the wearer via a speaker microphone that is built into the pendant, which can be worn on the hip via a clip or around the neck via a lanyard.
“The speaker is pretty high-powered—the person can hear it without putting it to their ear,
Holbert said. “And the microphone is noise-cancelling—you literally can be right under a TV on high volume, and you’ll be able to speak [normally], because it will pick up your voice and not the TV.”
The final piece of the solution is SecuraTrac’s cloud-based software platform, dubbed ReliaTrac, that integrates not only with the biometric patch and communications pendant—which costs about $180—but also with wireless carriers and central monitoring stations at hospitals or third-party providers. For hospitals wishing to do the monitoring themselves, it’s a simple matter of overlaying SecuraTrac’s software onto the hospital’s existing records-management platform, according to Holbert.
“The information that they get from us is formatted in a way that they can use their existing software—our solution was designed to interoperate,” he said. “We built it to integrate with the five leading emergency response software systems in the world. So, we cover about 85% of the central monitoring stations right out of the gate. And ReliaTrac is open, so we can integrate with the other 15% pretty quickly, in a matter of days.”
While the medical sector is the primary market—particularly as it relates to providing care to seniors— for these solutions, Holbert believes they also will find a home in sectors dominated by lone workers toiling in harsh and/or remote environments.
“For example, you might want to monitor the 200 workers that are out on an oil rig, who work in one of the most dangerous environments there is,” he said. “One of the classic use cases is helping [the company] reduce its overall insurance exposure while we improve employee safety.
“That’s a big one that people naturally overlook—the employee actually would prefer this kind of oversight. They don’t want you monitoring what they do on their lunch hour or after work—so there has to be practices in place to handle that—but during work hours, especially those who work alone in risky professions, they appreciate this.”
The remote workers don’t need the Mobile Defender pendant to accomplish this monitoring, as the SecuraPatch works in concert with an iPhone/iPad app dubbed SecuraFone Health, which receives data from the sensor patch and then transfers it to the cloud via the ReliaTrac platform, from which monitoring centers can access the information.