Surrey trials GPS-fitted watch to track vulnerable dementia patients

[caption id="attachment_2604" align="alignright" width="250"]dementia patients “The county council is always willing to embrace innovation”[/caption]

Surrey County Council is trialling a watch called the Vega device, fitted with a SIM and GPS (Global Positioning System), that tracks the wearer’s location and pinpoints it on a mobile phone or computer, with the aim of preventing dementia patients from getting lost.

Relatives of the patients who will be wearing the watch can log in to a secure website and see where the patient is.  They can also set a safe area for the patient so that if he or she crosses the boundaries of the area an alert will be triggered. The monitoring centre is manned 24 hours a day. The watch also comes with a button that wearers can press in case of emergencies.

According to Surrey County Council’s Melanie Bussicott: “The county council is always willing to embrace innovation and when we heard about a watch that gives people with dementia more independence in their daily lives, we had to give it a trial.”

Trials of similar devices are in the offing for the Mole Valley, Elmbridge and Runnymede areas.


Related reading