SecuraTrac teams with Vital Connect to launch mPERS device

By Neil Versel
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lifetrac-quarterSecuraTrac, maker of GPS-enabled tracking devices for health and safety, is teaming up with body sensor manufacturer Vital Connect to produce a passive mobile personal emergency response system (mPERS).

The joint product, called SecuraFone Health, detects falls, changes in heart and breathing rate and other vital signs, thanks to a sensor worn on the chest or back. When the sensor notices a fall or other health threat, it sends a signal to the wearer's smartphone, which then automatically alerts designated caregivers and health professionals with data including the person's location.

Hermosa Beach, Calif.-based SecuraTrac provides the app and tracking technology, based on its existing SecuraFone mobile app, an Android and Apple iOS product that, among other things, helps families track the driving of teens and seniors. Vital Connect, a year-old company from Campbell, Calif., that recently changed its name from Vigilo Networks, is contributing the biosensor, in the form of a water-resistant patch that provides continuous monitoring for two to three days at a time.

"Doctors, caregivers and family members will now not only be able to monitor and receive alerts related to the whereabouts of their patients, children or aging parents, but also will receive alerts related to that person's vitals in real time," SecuraTrac CEO Chris Holbert says in a joint press release. "The monthly service is tied to a 24/7 emergency response center with trained healthcare staff, and so we expect that our mobile health and safety innovation will greatly reduce response times for those in need of emergency assistance as well as improve the overall care received by the user."

According to Vital Connect Executive Vice President Bill Brennan, the wireless sensor "will provide users an unprecedented sense of security while providing doctors, caregivers and loved ones with increased peace of mind."

SecuraTrac already offers an mPERS device called LifeTrac MobileProtector, but that is a more traditional "active" system that requires the user to press a panic button to summon help.

A SecuraTrac spokesperson was not immediately available to discuss pricing or specify the wireless technology being used. The companies say they will release the SecuraFone Health app before the end of the year.