Recently, Marc Regimbal shared how his child tracking device evolved into a tool for elderly tracking. The story started when he almost lost his three-year-old child when they were at a mall. After that incident, he decided he didn’t want other parents to feel the horror he experienced when he thought he wouldn’t see his son again.
In the next four years, Regimbal found a way to combine GPS and cellular technology to develop a portable GPS tracker that can be attached to a child’s garments or backpack. The device allows parents to establish virtual fence around specific areas and pinpoint a child’s location using their smartphones.
Only after a year since he launched his GPS product, he observed an increase in the demand for his products from unexpected demographic. He started receiving inquiries about using his child trackers on elderly tracking particularly people who are suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
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According to Alzheimer’s Disease International, there are more than 44 million people suffering from dementia in 2013. This number is expected to grow to 76 million in 2030 and reach 136 million by 2050.
Dementia is a symptom of a brain disease, which includes memory loss and a decline in language and thinking skills. People with this condition often get disoriented or lost even in familiar places. This is why 3G GPS trackers are immensely helpful to families and caregivers in taking care of senior members of the family.
Significant Growth: From Child Tracking to Elderly Tracking
Many children trackers available in the market today can be used also in elderly tracking. However, there are certain types of GPS child devices that are not appropriate for elderly use. For example, cellular phones with GPS tracking apps that parents give to their kids are not recommended for elderly use. Mobile phones might be misplaced by the elderly user since most senior people are forgetful, that’s why these devices would not suffice.
André Malm, senior analyst at telecom industry Berg Insight, recommends wearable GPS devices such as wristwatch, pendant, or a tiny GPS device that can be attached to their clothing anywhere they go. These devices have lone button and pressing it allows the wearer to speak to a particular person whose number is programmed on the device, allowing the user to find the elderly’s location.
With GPS tracker, an elderly with dementia can continue to safely travel from one place to another causing less worry to their loved ones.
For Davis, whose tracking company was launched only in January this year, the reason their company is thriving is that there is a market for assisting and elderly tracking, which are also considered as vulnerable adults.