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What’s the Best Wearable to Help You Stay Alive?

Original Article: What’s the Best Wearable to Help You Stay Alive?

Water Bear Declare: Wearable alert systems great…but how you push button if dead?Water Bear Lair

The other day I was looking at wearable tech like smart watches. I’m always keeping an eye out for new tech because someone is gonna make what I’m looking for and it’s sure to happen soon. But what am I looking for? What’s the holy grail of wearables and why doesn’t it exist yet?

Have you ever heard of Life Alert? Mostly it gets associated with old people who are at high risk of falls and other age-related diseases. Anyway, the old person falls or goes down or whatever and they’re all alone and can’t get help. Lucky for them, they have Life Alert! All they gotta do is push a button and some handsome devil swoops in to save the day…or so they hope.

But there’s a problem with this system and I think it’s pretty obvious. So I don’t know why these multi-million or billion dollar companies haven’t fixed it yet. What’s the problem?

You can’t push a button when you’re unconscious or dead!

Der.

Seems obvious if you ask me, but apparently not. You have entire industries built around getting people the fastest care possible, but no wearable tech to make it happen. But what if someone did make a solution? What would that look like? What features would it need?

There are three main features such a wearable would need. The first is the ability to monitor consciousness. People who are unconscious can’t push a button or call for help, so that’s clearly a must. The second feature is pulse monitoring. This one’s more for cryonicists since there’s little time for response once your heart stops. You need standby and transportation as fast as possible. The third feature is an automatic alert system with GPS.

All three features exist right now. There’s nothing stopping them from hitting the market. So why don’t they exist together? My guess is big companies either don’t care or don’t have the vision for it. They certainly have the money, but perhaps they’ve surveyed their market only to find people aren’t interested. It’s hard to say really.

But all hope isn’t lost. It’s 2016 and we’re in a whole new world. A world where Joe Schmo can dive into the deep end of the tech and business ocean with little knowledge or experience as long as he’s driven. And because entrepreneurs are so aggressive these days, I think it’s likely we’ll see some kind of pulse monitoring GPS alert system within the next three years.

So today I wanna take a look at some of the wearables that are already available or are about to be available to give you an idea of what’s out there and how it might help you.

Most Promising Existence Assistance
Wearables of 2016

The following wearables are the best of the best in monitoring and alert systems as of right now. Some are mass market available while others are still in their R&D stages. Each wearable has some of the primary features we want, but not all.

Before you read the list, here’s a summary of what I looked for in each of these wearables:

• Pulse Monitor
• Consciousness Monitor
• 24/7 Monitoring Service
• Accelerometer (for falls)
• Blood Glucose
• Alert System
• GPS Location Tracking
• Alarm for Location
• Adaptability
• Ease of Use
• Battery Life
• Wearability

Number 12 – Fitbit Surge

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The Fitbit Surge is sleek and stylish. Like most Fitbit products, it’s design is relatively simple. The Fitbit Surge has GPS tracking and heart rate monitoring. It also monitors other activities such as movement and sleep. Battery life is said to be “long” and it even has silent alarms for when you sleep. Price tag comes in at $249.95.

The Fitbit Surge is made for a younger market that’s more into health and fitness than alert monitoring. For that reason it doesn’t have any capacity to call out to friends or family and can’t alert any kind of call center if you get into trouble. The reason I listed it here is because it could become an excellent standalone monitoring system with a developer’s modification. For now it’s just a stylish fitness monitor.

Number 11 – Apple Watch

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The Apple Watch is a powerful wearable with unlimited potential. It monitors pulse and lets the user customize the information that’s measured. Plus their site says you can, “add apps tailored to your specific goals.” If that means you can add an alert system app, that would be amazing! At some point I assume Apple will be on board with alert monitoring when it seems more lucrative for them. Current price for the Apple Watch starts around $299.99.

Some companies and healthcare facilities already use the watch for patient notifications and communications. It doesn’t look like the watch is integrated with any specific 24/7 alert monitoring and response stations, but as of right now I don’t see anything stopping that from happening. Basically someone just needs to get a system going. The Apple Watch has also been integrated for blood glucose monitoring so if that’s an issue for you, might be worth considering.

Number 10 – Microsoft Band 2

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Microsoft’s Band 2 falls into the same category as the Fitbit Surge. It’s primarily targeted toward active lifestyles. It does monitor pulse 24/7 and also offers health insights, so that’s kind of nice. It doesn’t have a call-out feature because it isn’t made for that purpose but could probably be adapted for it.

Mainly I listed this for it’s potential rather than it’s practical application at this time. Though it’s on the market for $174.99, I’d probably skip it until someone develops integrated systems that make it more useful for life-threatening situations. It does have some uses for tracking health and storing private health information that could be useful for alerting medical personnel to your cryonics wishes.

Number 9 – Life Alert

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Clearly Life Alert doesn’t give a flying tardidoo about style points. This has to be the ugliest wearable I’ve ever seen. I listed it because it’s an established brand that offers most of the benefits a life-saving wearable should have. For instance, it’s incredibly simple. If you’re in trouble you just push the button to alert a 24/7 staffed dispatch that connects you with emergency services.

According to their website the dispatch person talks to you whether you’re near a phone or not. It’s unclear if that includes 2-way communication, but assuming it does it would be pretty easy for the dispatcher to figure out if you’re conscious or not. Beyond that, Life Alert uses GPS locating technology and claims a battery life of up to 10 years! But all of that only helps you if you push the button, which renders Life Alert useless if you’re dead…

Number 8 – Philips Lifeline

HomeSafe

Another ugly option is Philips Lifeline. I’d say it’s a step up from Life Alert, but if style is important then you’ll be disappointed. That said, the Lifeline actually does have a lot of benefits that make it worth noting. It doesn’t monitor pulse, but it does automatically call for help if it detects a fall, and that’s even if you can’t push the button because you’re unconscious.

So Lifeline wins points for having an automatic calling system, but that won’t help if you’re sitting down when your pulse stops. Lifeline is also staffed with a 24/7 dispatch and makes use of an individual quick response button. Monitoring starts $29.95 per month with several other options available. Also it touts “6 advanced location technologies.”

Number 7 – Tempo by CarePredict

CarePredict

Tempo by CarePredict is starting to step things up. Their monitoring system claims to learn the individual’s regular activities for daily living and alerts care providers of any significant changes to those patterns. So if you normally get out of bed and walk around at 5 am but you don’t do that tomorrow, then it might alert someone. It also considers eating and sleeping habits too.

Tempo isn’t just an alert system, but a monitoring system. I really like that it offers health stats in addition to giving care staff the ability to notice problematic changes. When an individual’s patterns change, text and email alerts are sent to pre-selected contacts.

For location Tempo monitors and displays each resident in real-time. It also uses “geo-fencing to better manage at-risk patients.” Plus it’s not the ugliest choice on the list. Definitely looks better than the previous two options. Price for a Tempo kit is $169.00.

Number 6 – G2i Emergency Watch

G2i-Emergency-Watch

The Limmex G2i Emergency Watch offers a more traditional look and feel. It allows you to pre-select who to call in an emergency and if something happens you just push the button and talk through the watch. It also comes with built-in GPS. Even if the call doesn’t connect, the watch sends a text message to your contact as a backup alert failsafe.

Since the G2i doesn’t appear to offer pulse monitoring or fall detection, that makes it one of the less useful choices. But if you’re looking for something to use while conscious that gives you a sense of style then go for it. Personally this isn’t at the top of my list for useful considerations.

Number 5 – Lively Safety Watch

Watch-Family

The Lively Safety watch has a really unique style that reminds me of the Apple Watch. It has other unique features too. For instance to get going you just “plug the lively hub into a power outlet and it just starts working.” After that you place activity sensors around your home and activate your online account. It also says you don’t need an internet connection to use it.

The sensors around the house help monitor activities so pre-selected contacts can be alerted if there’s trouble or if your behavior suddenly changes. There’s also a push-button alert system that connects you with a standby representative. Overall it’s not the worst system on the market, but it’s missing a lot of important features such as pulse monitoring. On a bright note, as a standalone system it likely has great battery life.

Number 4 – UnaliWear Kanega Watch

Bling3-4-B_time

UnaliWear’s Kanega Watch looks really fashionable. So what if it’s not the latest in tech-style, it’s nicely designed anyway. It was a Kickstarter project around a year ago, and the company is making progress fast. The watch itself is a standalone system that’s voice controlled for ease of use. That means there’s no button to press for emergencies at all. Of course, that makes me wonder how you use it if you can’t speak…

Once emergency contact is initiated the watch connects you with a dispatcher who can send help. If emergency response is activated but you don’t respond then dispatch contacts your emergency contacts first and still sends help. Another benefit is that the Kanega watch monitors for mobility and immobility. So if you fall or aren’t active for too long, it automatically sends for help.

The Kanega uses GPS for location and can also help you remember to take medications. It isn’t clear if it offers pulse monitoring. The Kanega isn’t available to the public yet and is still in beta testing right now, but is expected to be released sometime this year.

Number 3 – GreatCall Watch

lively-wearable-wristband

The GreatCall watch is a dual-purpose wearable that doubles as both a fitness tracker and an urgent response service. The styling is super cool and it’s loaded with features. As far as safety goes, it has a press button alert system that calls a standby dispatch operator. It also detects falls and automatically calls for help.

Another useful feature is daily automated check-in calls. So even if you can’t press the button and even if the fall detection doesn’t catch your status, the check-in call should alert someone of your need for help when you’re in trouble. One thing that isn’t clear from the website is whether or not the fitness tracker monitors pulse. It seems like this device is almost the perfect solution, but it needs pulse monitoring to really hit it out of the park.

Number 2 – Omate S3 Smartwatch

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The Omate S3 Smartwatch is an Android-based watch that isn’t yet available but should be soon. It features multiple ways to contact others in an emergency including a dialer system and an automatic SOS button. GPS locates you, but it uses Wi-Fi or 3G. I’m not sure if that’s a plus or a minus. Could go either way depending on your location.

A couple of things this watch needs to be great include: pulse monitoring, a dispatch system, and preferably a better GPS. That said, it does have a pedometer and may be able to alert others in the event you fall or suddenly drop from cardiac arrest. Unfortunately there’s not much more information about the S3 Smartwatch right now since it’s still in production.

Number 1 – Biovotion

Infinity-medical-wearable-design-Biovotion-VSM

The final watch on our list is biovotion and this may be the most promising watch of all. Though it isn’t yet available, it’s not far from it and looks to be a serious contender for health and safety wearables. The website claims “medical grade” vital signs and the watch comes with a ton of features. For starters there’s no buttons. The wearable is designed for monitoring “throughout the continuum of care.”

Vital signs currently tracked include: heart rate, blood oxygenation, skin temperature, skin blood perfusion, steps / motion. Anyone familiar with cryonics can see obvious uses for this. Future monitoring will include: respiratory rate, heart rate variability, energy expenditure, blood pressure wave, stress, sleep, cutaneous water / sweat, and blood glucose.

Plus the whole thing is a standalone system, so it should have pretty good battery life. Going a step further, biovotion lets you view and track your health information on your phone. The only features I’d really like to see added are automatic alerts if those aren’t already available and information about location. I didn’t see any mention of GPS locating technology on the website.

If biovotion adds a few minor features this could be the best wearable emergency watch on the market. The only question remaining is how long before we can have it?

What Wearable Do You Recommend?

This list isn’t exhaustive by any means. There’s probably a hundred wearable alert systems I don’t know about. Some might even be better than what’s on this list. If you know of something that’s better or that suits the cryonics community better, then please share down below so we can all take a closer look.

By the way, what’s useful for one person might not be the most useful for another. Always keep in mind your own survival goals and remember to ask if the product fits your needs. If you’re not a cryonicist then you may not need a pulse monitoring automatic alert system. Always use what works best for you based on your situation because that’s what matters most. Use what works for you.

Until next time!

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