GILFORD — Anyone living alone can now get access to a personal voice assistant that calls for help if you fall, reminds you to take your meds, plays your favorite music and interactive games, and connects you with family and friends without needing Wi-Fi or even a telephone.
Visiting Angels, a provider of in-home care, is the first to install voice-activated artificial intelligence from Amazon’s Alexa into the homes of clients. The technology helps keep older adults safe with a round-the-clock voice assistant with a fun personality, keeping them connected with family, friends and caregivers.
The purpose-built solution is called Constant Companion, a first-of-its-kind personal emergency and companion system that works hands-free with Amazon’s Alexa to monitor and communicate with loved ones that might be more vulnerable.
“We are very excited to join forces with the voice technology experts at Constant Companion to put this amazing product in the homes of seniors across the country,” said Larry Meigs, president and CEO of Visiting Angels. “The team at Constant Companion invented a system that puts a modernized spin on the ‘Help, I’ve fallen, and I can’t get up’ medical alert technology. They’ve created a companion tool for Alexa that provides services specifically tailored to seniors that they can use without technical skills of any type or even home Wi-Fi.
"By adding this device to our list of caregiving tools, we are enhancing the services we already provide to thousands of American families, especially when it comes to emergency calls for help and keeping relatives informed and involved in the lives of their elderly loved ones.
Visiting Angels caregivers are trained to help families program the system with their clients’ favorite activities and teach them how it can improve their daily life.
Constant Companion is programmed to work on any Amazon Alexa-enabled device, including with Echo Dot speakers. The speakers look just like what millions of other people have in their homes today. The difference is that Constant Companion’s technology team provides a concierge experience, customizing every system to fit the unique needs of each senior. The speakers work like other Alexa devices — you can play games, get weather reports, and listen to music — with one exception: You cannot shop online.
High-speed Wi-Fi service and battery backup are included from Constant Companion.
Concerned about privacy? Constant Companion operates on an independent, secure network, totally separate from what Amazon uses for its operations. Each user is 100% anonymized, and your identity locked down behind HIPAA-compliant encryption and security. Companion further protects its users with a $1 million privacy protection guarantee, backed by Lloyds of London.
When you say “Alexa, call for help,” you’re connected to a Constant Companion emergency response operator within 10 seconds. That’s three times faster than competitors, on average. Operators are located at Constant Companion’s 5 Diamond rated, US-based, urgent response centers. They immediately recognize you and your address and can alert local first responders if you need help.
You can schedule a daily check-in call with Constant Companion. A live operator will contact you at a certain time to make sure you are okay and to see if there is anything you need.
The team at Constant Companion adds family telephone numbers to the system ahead of time, so you can just speak up when you want to call your son or grandchild, simply by saying, “Alexa, call John” or “Alexa, call Susie.”
You can tell Alexa when you need to take medication, and she will speak out and remind you at that time. A few minutes later, she will even ask, “Did you take your medicine?” just to make sure.
You can use the speakers as an intercom system inside your home. It’s a great way for caregivers and seniors to talk to each other if they are in separate rooms, like the kitchen and bedroom.
Alexa will never leave you bored or lonely. You can ask her to play music from your favorite genre, ask her the day’s news or even to play interactive games such as Jeopardy and Who Wants to be A Millionaire?
To learn more, visit visitingangels.com.