PERS definition: an electronic device worn by the user that is designed to summon help in an emergency.

The origin of the acronym PERS (Personal Emergency Response System) was first used by security professions and government regulatory agencies. At the consumer level these devices had been referred to mostly by generic names like Medical Alert, Emergency Alert, Help Alert, and the most popular of all was Lifeline, which is actually the name of the company that pioneered the industry.

Today, the popularity of these devices has grown exponentially and the acronym PERS is now used at the consumer level.


How does it work?:

PERS was first developed in the 1980’s. The original device was designed to meet the needs of seniors who spent most of their time at home, and therefore it only worked within the home via a landline telephone to the Central Monitoring Station (CMS). The range was limited by the layout of the home and obstructions that could hinder the users’ ability to hear or speak loud enough to communicate with the centralized console. The original PERS paradigm is still rooted in today’s PERS models, although the equipment has improved with technology advancements. The fall detection feature, for example, has been a popular add-on choice for many when ordering a PERS. The telephone landline connection used in the past could be problematic, and on its way to extinction. Buyers should only consider the newer wireless models.

Should an emergency occur, the user presses the pendant button and speaks through the built-in console speaker with a care specialist who will assess the situation, then take appropriate action. Paramedics or police are dispatched when necessary, followed by notifying family or friends of the incident according to the client’s predetermined request.

PERS+: is a technologically advanced generation also designed specifically for use at home. The plus+ components greatly elevate the level of care and support it provides. PERS+ add-on components can be placed throughout the home and provide a blanket of security by reporting if the user has not awakened at their normal time, missed a morning routine, or has not taken a scheduled medication for example. The entire system is wireless which means no telephone landline service and wiring required.

mPERS: pendants come in fashionable jewelry inspired designs and watches that are unrecognizable as a medical decice. This puts to rest the stigma that one’s health is in jeopardy when worn in public. mPERS is the latest trend. The m preceding PERS signifies mobile. The enthusiasm for a mobile PERS is it’s ability to work anywhere in the U.S. that cellular service is available, whether that’s a trip to the mailbox or a vacation destination. You’re always protected wherever that might be.

mPERS is an all-in-one self-contained unit. It consists of a microphone, speaker, telephone Sim card and two-way voice cellular module. The power source is a lithium battery that needs to be recharged on regular basis.

Essentially, it’s a miniature cell phone with PERS technology components added. An mPERS with GPS location tracking feature connects to a privately operated Central Station that is connected to a national database of police and emergency medical services to instantly dispatch help if needed.

The mPERS GPS feature enables family or caregivers to locate the person wearing it with a smart phone app. or desktop computer. When you call 911, they have no idea who you are, where you are, or anything else about you. In a real emergency, by the time all the details are documented and help is dispatched, a PERS subscriber could already be receiving treatment.

With a PERS, when you have a health issue or maybe even a senior moment such as getting lost while you are out driving, you simply press the help button and your connected to a trained operator who instantly has all of your information along with the GPS location of where you are.

The only objection to the mPERS design model is its size and weight, (that of a Zippo lighter). It could be to be cumbersome when worn 24/7, so many wear it part-time which defeats the purpose of having it.

Both offer great features and there are some capabilities you can only get with PERS+ that you can’t with mPERS and vice versa. Each model has features that give it an advantage over the other. Your choice may depend on the assessment of the individual user and what you want to achieve in respect to the type of care and safety measures you want.