Columba bracelet is a GPS-driven system with automated alert and audio communication to prevent Alzheimer’s sufferers from wondering away. The bracelet is produced by O’Canada-based Medical Intelligence, Inc. Company explains (.pdf):
The rate of Alzheimer’s patients that “wander” or “stray” is almost 60%, with a high death rate when they are not found quickly. The innovation introduced today is a definitive solution to the problems that families, caregivers and police authorities must deal with.
Columba, the new geopositioning phone-bracelet, required three years of research and development. Louis Massicotte, founding president of Medical Intelligence, had the idea of creating the bracelet after the repeated wanderings of his own mother, who suffers from Alzheimer’s.
To prevent any disappearance, the Columba bracelet automatically detects any departure from a security zone surrounding the residence or nursing home. The “zone” is pre-determined by the patient’s family or caregiver. The Columba then alerts a medical assistance centre that promptly contacts the family or caregiver to coordinate assistance efforts.
If required, the medical assistance centre, which operates 24-7, can accurately geoposition the bracelet wearer and establish audio communication using Columba’s “handsfree” feature.
The Columba has a GPS-Assisted positioning system, a GSM/GPRS transmitter/receiver with a SIM card for voice and data, and an intelligent alert detection system.