New Estonian safety device monitors elderly people’s movements

Estonian startup Rahu has come up with a wristband for elderly people, which alerts the family members in case of an accident and sends the data to the company’s monitoring centre.

With people living and staying in good health longer, there is a growing trend for more elderly people staying on their own in their twilight years instead of old people’s homes. In the UK, almost half of over-60s live by themselves. This trend has also caused governments and the private sector to come up with new support services and solutions, to make the life for the elderly as safe at their own homes, and their families as worry-free, as possible.

One of these solutions is a personal alarm system that lets a person press the alarm button in emergency, calling for help via a response centre. But the downside of an alarm button is that a person might forget to carry it with them and therefore unable to reach it in case of a fall or an emergency.

Estonian startup Rahu (“peace” in Estonian) has now come up with a wristband that alerts the family in case of an accident and sends the data to the company’s monitoring centre. The monitoring centre picks out key patterns and sudden movements and enables alerting through the Rahu app or a text message when an elderly person has not got out of bed (excluding a night time period) or when they fall. It also enables smart alerting, calling the family for first check or alerting emergency services when something serious happens.

According to Tarmo Virki, the cofounder of Rahu, the idea was born upon a personal experience: “My grandmother, who was 97 at the time, fell at her home few years ago. Even though she had a personal alarm system with a panic button, it was no help because the clumsy device was on a table in the other room. She survived, but had to move to an old people’s home after the incident.”

Currently Rahu is in beta phase, testing out the product and looking into improvements.