Technology launched to help Somerset’s dementia sufferers

An innovative new wristband is to be launched tomorrow to help dementia sufferers in Somerset. It is funded through a collaboration between the Senior Citizen Liaison Team, Avon & Somerset Police and Avon Fire & Rescue Service. As with the best technology, the wristband is neatly simple. It stores essential information about the wearer, including their name and details of next of kin. It uses Near-Field-Communication (NFC) , a set of communication protocols that work over a distance of 4 cm (1​12 in) or less. NFC allows low-speed connection and uses relatively simple technology, It is similar to the way in which we use debit cards for contactless payments.

The information can be accessed via the NFC app when a mobile is held nearby. This has the advantage of eliminating the the need for physical contact which could cause distress to a dementia patient. The information on the wristband can be used to get the wearer back to safety should they be found whilst lost or confused.

However everyone is keen to stress that this is a passive device. It is not used for tracking and contains non-personal data to ensure the safety of the wearer.

Avon and Somerset Police and Crime Commissioner Sue Mountstevens was impressed “According to the Alzheimer’s Society there are around 850,000 people in the UK living with dementia. The Dementia Safeguarding Scheme is a fantastic way of protecting so many vulnerable people who suffer from this horrible disease. I welcome any opportunity to think differently how we can work together to prevent vulnerable adults from becoming another ‘missing person’.

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