Of the estimated 850,000 people in the UK living with dementia, roughly 50% will wander with purpose and become lost during their condition. When someone with dementia is reported as a missing person, the police treat it as a high priority and put a lot of resources into finding that person as quickly as possible.
There are many mechanisms and schemes in place for finding missing persons with dementia, for example, the Herbert Protocol and the fantastic Purple Alert app developed by Alzheimer Scotland. Technology can play a big part in preventing people with dementia from becoming lost and GPS technology has proven popular.
There are now several gadgets and devices available for the purpose of tracking locations, including the locations of people via wearable devices. While there are clearly ethical considerations around the issue of tracking people, many people are willing to accept that there is a benefit in this technology when it comes to people with dementia who can become lost.
Many tracking devices come in the form of a wristwatch or bracelet, or even an insole of a shoe. There are many different types of products on the market and many options presented to people, making it difficult to choose the right one for them.
There is often a two-stage process for people considering a ‘tracking’ system for their family member or someone under their care. Firstly, they need to decide if the benefits of tracking their loved one are justified and therefore is there a system available that can provide the safety they need without intruding too much on privacy. Secondly, which of the many devices and gadgets available is the most suitable for them?
For these reasons, we are often asked by our potential customers ‘Why should I choose Otiom?’
In this article we are going to give the reasons why Otiom is the premier product in this field and why it should come into consideration for anyone looking for this type of assistive technology, regardless of whether they are a family member or in some way responsible for the care for someone living with dementia.
Firstly, Otiom has been developed over several years, backed by extensive research in the field of dementia. It is the result of a collaboration with relatives, caregivers and people with dementia. Everything from the design of the hardware to the safety settings in the mobile app have been developed to suit the lifestyle and habits of people with dementia:
- The Otiom tag carried by the user has no flashy lights or buttons that can be confusing to someone with dementia. Additionally, the tag is durable and is designed to survive a machine wash up to 60 degrees. It can therefore be sewn into an item of clothing if there is any issue with wearing the tag around the neck.
- The six different safety levels in the Otiom app are designed to provide the maximum amount of freedom with an appropriate level of safety for all stages and severity of dementia. They are backed by extensive research into the lifestyles of people living with dementia.
- The battery life of Otiom is superior to all other devices that work purely on GPS signals, meaning recharging of the Otiom tag is not required as regularly as other devices (more on this later). Other devices working purely with GPS signals require regular charging and this does not suit the lifestyle of many people with dementia.
Medical Device for a Medical Condition
Otiom is the only device of its type that is a registered class 1 medical device and has therefore undergone a rigorous testing protocol to comply with the European Medical Device Regulations. Other devices on the market are essentially gadgets with little or no research at the back of them specific to dementia. Many location devices are also not specific for tracking people with dementia and are also used by people to track items such as luggage when travelling.
Ground-breaking and Future Proof Technology
Unlike other gadgets available that work purely on GPS signals, Otiom communicates via the Narrowband Internet of Things (NB-IoT) frequency and uses the Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) to determine locations. GNSS includes a large network of satellite systems from many different countries including GPS, GLONASS, Galileo and Beidou.
While this may be a bit technical for many people who just want to have a product that works as it is supposed to, the result of this is that Otiom has a superior battery life to any device that works purely with GPS signals. Additionally, coverage is improved due to the combination of satellite systems used to provide locations.
There is no limit or ‘range’ with Otiom – it will pick up locations anywhere in the country providing signal strength remains strong and there is sufficient battery charge in the tag.
You can see our full article on the advantages of Otiom and the Narrowband Internet of Things (NB-IoT) Vs GPS technology at the following link – https://www.pentlandmedical.co.uk/news/otiom-gps-tracking-device-for-dementia/
Maximum Freedom with Peace of Mind
All technologies that have an element of tracking, including Otiom, can be seen as an invasion of privacy as we touched on earlier in this article. While this is a necessary ‘evil’ for this type of product, many products available do amount to a full surveillance system as the whereabouts of the user can easily be seen at any time, along with a detailed history of the person’s whereabouts.
Whilst Otiom does essentially provide locations and ‘tracking’ of people, it is also designed to provide maximum freedom for the user carrying the tag. The Otiom app works by sending alerts to all carers and/or family members who have downloaded it. These alerts are only triggered when the user has breached their safety level which is selected by the admin user of the account (and can be changed at any time). The safety levels provide peace of mind that there will be alerts if the user breaches their pre-defined safety setting, without tracking the user 24/7.
You can see a video which explains the six different safety levels at the following link – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-nrAN-llp_w&t=12s
Tried and Tested
Since Pentland Medical launched Otiom exclusively in the UK, we have worked extensively with the Alzheimer Society and Alzheimer Scotland. At the time of writing, we are testing Otiom with the Alzheimer Society and expect to be listed as an official partner on their website in due course.
Following several months and testing through many people in the Alzheimer Scotland Dementia Circle, Otiom is listed on the ADAM (About Digital And Me) platform. You can see the product card listing, including testimonials, at the following link – https://www.meetadam.co.uk/profile/259T5pSt2WQAIKqAE3VCqV9Kqm7
We continue to work with Alzheimer Scotland and the Alzheimer Society and the team at Pentland Medical have participated in fundraising events for both charities. Furthermore, the entire team are Dementia Friends!
Pentland Medical are also an official partner of the Good Care Group, who have tried Otiom in the fantastic service they provide to their clients – https://www.thegoodcaregroup.com
Ongoing Support Included
Many people requiring the use of a tracking system have limited experience and knowledge when it comes to new technologies.
Free and ongoing support from the team at Pentland Medical is guaranteed for all customers regardless of whether they buy or rent Otiom. This can be during the installation process and for any issues experienced on an ongoing basis.
We value our customers and understand that support for technology of this nature is occasionally required.
What Do You Have To Lose?
Many gadgets available will charge an upfront fee to purchase the device, alongside a monthly subscription fee.
We have flexible options for anyone looking to use Otiom. Why not try before you buy? Our rental option allows you to obtain an Otiom kit for a minimal delivery fee of £7. You will have 30 days from the point of order to decide if you want to purchase the kit outright; return it to Pentland Medical; or continue to rent. The first subscription fee is not due to be taken until 30 days after ordering so you essentially have a free trial period.
You can see our full purchase and rental options at the following link – https://www.pentlandmedical.co.uk/purchase-and-rental-options/
If you decide that you want to purchase Otiom outright, then all you need to do is let us know and we will cancel the subscription and send you an invoice to purchase the equipment. When you purchase, there are no ongoing fees.
The advantages and benefits of Otiom described in this article can be summarised as follows:
- Backed by extensive research in the field of dementia and developed accordingly
- Dementia-friendly and durable tag
- Safety levels to suit everyone from early-stage dementia to advanced
- Superior battery life = less frequent charging
- The only registered class 1 medical device of this nature
- Combination of technologies including NB-IoT for improved performance Vs GPS
- Unlimited range within the UK
- Designed for maximum freedom with peace of mind
- Tried and tested
- Free support included
- Flexible purchase and rental choices with the option for a trial
Get in touch with us today if you would like to discuss Otiom further!