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EmFinders Emergency Locator Service

February 1st, 2011

Todd Cochrane spoke with Harry G. Smeenk, VP of Sales for EmFinders. EmFinders makes a emergency location device, that you wear like a watch. It is made for people who are cognitively and developmentally impaired individuals. like someone with Autism or Alzheimer’s It uses a cellular based solution instead of GPS so it can work inside of buildings. Mr. Smeenk said many times the wearer will go somewhere that seems comfortable to them, which is often inside. It uses the gsm network. They talked about how the clasp is hard to open so the user can’t take it off.

Mr. Smeenk indicated that the way the system works is if an individual wearing the device disappears. The caregiver would then call EmFinder. EmFinder then activates the device and gets a signal. They then send that signal to the 911 dispatcher in the area where the signal is coming from. They also provide information about the wearer to the 911 dispatch. Normally once the signal is sent out it takes on 10-15 minutes to find the wearer. The devices cost $200 and there is a $25.00 monthly charge. It has has been in the market for only a year and is being directed toward consumers, law enforcement and senior institutions. As the population gets older these types of devices are going to become more popular.

Interview by Carissa O’Brien for Geek News Central.

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