Safe in the homes of strangers
Most of the time, sending a largely female clinical staff into all types of urban and suburban neighborhoods or out along isolated country roads into the homes of strangers turns out to be safe and uneventful. More often than we might prefer, however, unexpected, unfortunate events do occur. Keeping nurses, therapists, social workers and aides safe as they make their daily rounds is a constant worry, not merely over worker's compensation costs but out of genuine personal concern. Muggings and abductions may be rare but they do happen. Though nearly every American owns at least one cell phone, calling 911 may not be an option in a threatening situation.
Brian Cruver recognized this problem several years ago for mobile workers of all types. After building two-way and one-to-many communication solutions for the likes of Kellogg's, DHL, and Volkswagen, he turned his sights on protecting mobile workers, expanding into the Healthcare at Home market at last week's annual meeting of the Visiting Nurse Associations of America. Judging by the crowds around the AlertMedia booth, it was a popular decision.
Released last year, SafeSignal is a monitoring service designed to provide mobile workers with a way to automatically summon help when needed. It consists of a smart phone app and a tether worn around the worker's wrist and plugged into the phone. When in trouble, all the worker has to do is yank the tether out of the phone. A loud alarm sounds from the phone and a message immediately goes to the AlertMedia Monitoring Center. Trained personnel there can summon police and keep them informed in real time of the worker's location by following the phone's GPS signal. In case of an inadvertent removal of the tether, monitoring center responders always wait 30 seconds to see if the worker types in an "all clear" code.
Monitoring center software tracks the GPS signal on Google Maps, not just at the location where the tether was pulled but it follows her if she needs to walk or run away from danger; police can then be informed of her changing location in real time.
It's not just your car, it's your office
Autoexec drew a lot of VNAA attention as well with its uniquely designed computer desks that fit into the front passenger seat of cars. Originally designed for Fedex and other delivery trucks, the line includes models that fit perfectly in most passenger sedans.
The base is a heavy-duty polyethylene cube that can be secured with a seat belt. It includes a file-folder-sized compartment, smaller compartments for pens and paper clips, and a skid-proof top surface. Optional equipment includes a swivel computer stand that can bring a laptop directly in front of the driver (when the car is not moving, of course) and a tablet stand that securely holds an iPad or other tablet in place. They also offer a separate cell phone stand that attaches to the windshield. Hidden inside the hollow cube is a lockable storage compartment.
Company president David Lippert told us that his father Charles founded the company in Grand Rapids in 1993 and it continues as a family-owned enterprise today, with as many products made in the USA as possible. Charles Lippert created a holding company and also served on the boards of publicly held banks, non-profit organizations, and hospitals after the sale of a successful pharmacy business. He found that he was spending more time in his car than in an office decided it was more prudent to bring office conveniences to the car than to stop traveling to see clients and attend board meetings.
The standard unit, Gripmaster, and the swivel-top desk, the Roadmaster, retail for $227. Adding a tablet holder raises it to $300. More photos at autoexec.com
©2016 by Rowan Consulting Associates, Inc., Colorado Springs, CO. All rights reserved. This article originally appeared in Tim Rowan's Home Care Technology Report. homecaretechreport.com One copy may be printed for personal use; further reproduction by permission only. firstname.lastname@example.org