Editor Steve frets about the lack of information on the accuracy of the Philips Lifeline AutoAlert and says it’s about time they published some data.
Back in March 2010, I welcomed the introduction of the Philips Lifeline with AutoAlert (for falls when the person cannot press the pendant button), particularly as a long-needed acknowledgement in the industry that traditional pendant alarms have considerable shortcomings. Philips puts nail in pendant alarm coffin. I also noted that, considering the notorious unreliability of fall detectors, Philips must be anticipating a large number of false positive alerts because there was a 30 second delay built in to enable users to cancel the autoalert.
In January this year Philips…
linked up in a big deal with WellAWARE Systems to monitor people in ‘senior living communities’ and ‘home health’ settings. Philips Lifeline, WellAWARE to co-market.
Now I see the following ringing endorsement by The Franciscan Companies, a member of the St. Joseph’s Hospital Health Network, complete with an oh-so-confident customer testimonial, on video, in a news item. Auto Alert system detects a fall without the press of a button. It’s convincing stuff.
Until you ask where the evidence is.
And is the equally robust statement on Philips’s design news blog to be taken to mean that there are never any false positives or false negatives? “It contains a series of sensors and an advanced algorithm that can accurately depict when the wearer has fallen, sending notification to the Lifeline service.”
If I were a customer who had a fall that the system failed to report I’d be using that statement in court as a stick to beat them with.
Let’s be generous and assume that Philips (or now even WellAWARE) has some research data on actual levels of reliability that it has shared with St. Joseph’s and other customers. But if it is so good why are they not sharing it with the public at large and the telecare/telehealth community in particular? I can’t find that data on any of their sites, and I’ve not heard of it being presented at any conferences…
Alternatively, if the data is not good, then the system and publicity falls into the realm of expensive but false reassurance.
Come on, Philips! If you want the industry to take the AutoAlert seriously you have to do better than just making bold assertions!