Philips introduces breakthrough medical alert service in Canada that can detect falls and automatically places call for help

Designed for independent-living seniors, Philips Lifeline with AutoAlert reduces medical complications associated with lie time following a fall

TORONTO, July 7, 2010 /Canada NewsWire/ - Giving extra peace of mind to seniors living independently across Canada, Philips today launch Lifeline with AutoAlert, a breakthrough medical alert technology that automatically detects falls and places a call for assistance if a senior is unable to get up or call for help following a fall. By providing immediate access to help, Lifeline with AutoAlert reduces the medical and emotional complications seniors can experience when they fall and lie unaided for an extended period of time.

"This year more than 1.4 million Canadian seniors will fall and disturbingly fifty per cent will not be able to get up without help," says Erik Sande, General Manager, Philips Home Monitoring. "Even seniors who are equipped with a medical alert system sometimes do not call for help following a fall because they lose consciousness or become immobilized. We created Lifeline with AutoAlert to eliminate these risks as the length of time a senior spends helpless on the floor following a fall can affect health outcome in dramatic ways."

Lifeline with AutoAlert uses multiple accelerometers and pressure sensors to detect when a person is falling. With a 95 per cent fall detection accuracy rate and a low rate of false alarms, Lifeline with AutoAlert provides an additional layer of protection for seniors who are living independently and are vulnerable to falls. When a fall has been detected, Lifeline with AutoAlert waits 30 seconds, giving the senior time to get up independently or to push his or her own help button. If the senior fails to get up, the device contacts Lifeline's Response Centre and a voice response from an Associate determines if emergency services are required or if a neighbour simply needs to check in.

Falls are one of the most serious health risks among Canadian seniors over the age of 65, affecting more people than strokes and heart attacks combined. On average, one out of three people aged 65 and over fall each year.

"Seniors who fall and experience lie time - lying helpless for a length of time - can suffer serious complications such as pressure ulcers, muscle necrosis, dehydration, hypothermia, pneumonia and even death," says Michelle Acorn, Nurse Practitioner, who runs a Falls Prevention Clinic for seniors in Durham, Ontario. "In addition to the medical complications, seniors who fall and experience long lie times can suffer serious emotional distress and heavy costs associated with extended treatment, rehabilitation and supported living."

Mortality rates are significantly impacted by the length of lie time a senior experiences. If a senior lies helpless for one hour or less the change of mortality is 12 per cent. However, seniors who lie helpless for 72 hours or more have a 67 per cent chance of mortality.

Lifeline with AutoAlert was developed over a three and a half year period by a global team of scientists and engineers, spending over 25,000 hours monitoring senior movement. The device, which has 16 patents filed on it, is worn comfortably as a pendant style button around the neck and costs $55.50/month. Lifeline with AutoAlert provides an additional layer of protection to Lifeline's standard service which provides independent, active seniors with a personal help button to wear around their wrist or neck which they can push if they require assistance.

"Independent living is a top priority for many Canadian seniors," adds Sande. "Lifeline with AutoAlert is one of the best ways to help keep seniors, who are vulnerable to falling, safe at home while giving their adult children peace of mind that assistance if required is immediately accessible."

Philips Lifeline

Philips Lifeline is Canada's leading medical alarm and response service. Its commitment to providing quality and caring service has made it the industry leader for more than 30 years. Lifeline is also the only medical alarm and response service integrated with the Canadian healthcare system. With hundreds of partnerships with hospitals, healthcare agencies and senior living residences across the country, the Lifeline service is readily accessible across the country. For more information on Lifeline medical alarm and response service please visit