General care, communications technology  

Door lock and bell with GSM phone aids emergency response for elderly

17 April 2007

The GSM Doorbell, developed by Dutch company Waleli, is a mobile phone application that allows people to answer their doorbell, talk to visitors and even open the door, whether they are at home or not.

The GSM doorbell can boost emergency response times to elderly people who live in their own home or in sheltered housing. It allows nurses and care workers to go straight to the scene without first having to go to a central key-holding facility to collect a front door key.

When an alarm-call is made through a personal alarm system, the regional call-centre can remotely activate the GSM-doorbell. When the nurse or care worker arrives and rings the bell at the patient's home, a voice connection is made with the call centre. This allows the nurse or care worker to identify themselves. The call centre can then open the front door with the press of just one button and the care worker can provide the necessary care to the patient.

Local housing authorities and providers of sheltered accommodation for the elderly are among the target audiences for the GSM doorbell.

“The ageing population is one of the most important issues facing society today,” said Lawrence Masle, Waleli’s head of international business development. “We all have to get much smarter about how we support elderly people, many of whom wish to continue living in their own homes. The GSM Doorbell answers the needs of a person who wishes to live alone but seeks the reassurance of knowing help can reach them if necessary.”

When the householder is at home and doesn’t need the GSM mobile functionality, the GSM doorbell can be switched to normal doorbell mode with a single key push.

Ger Tit, CEO of the AtA foundation, which manages emergency call centres in Amsterdam, said: “We see the GSM Doorbell as a product that enables care givers to provide assistance without losing valuable time. The increase in quality, and cost reduction around the administered care go hand in hand.”

Already being trialled extensively in the Netherlands, Waleli aims to have trials in the UK market before the end of this year.

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