Amazon Echo’s Alexa can now be used to raise the alarm for an elderly person who has fallen or has an emergency in their home.
A new app called My SOS Family and costs £30 a year can be linked to the Echo and if a pensioner falls they tell Alexa to start the app and Amazon’s device sends alerts to family numbers and emails.
Some observers believe the new app-based system could be a threat to traditional, pendant-based care monitoring systems which can cost up to £300 a year. But others feel that the app needs to be developed more before becoming a safe replacement for traditional systems.
The app was created by Moony Victoire-Nijjar who has been developing it for the last two years. He saw the opportunity for a cheaper alternative on discovering the Echo costs less than £50.
In the USA, an ‘elderly version’ of Amazon’s Echo software has been developed which helps older people remember when to take medicine and how much to take. ‘Elderly Alexa’ then asks the user if they have taken the medicine and their response is sent to a family member via email.