Introducing ParentMonitor: How a frail mum’s fall pushed son to develop a business keeping the elderly safe
A businessman whose mum had a fall at home has joined forces with an entrepreneur to develop a home monitoring system for the elderly.
The health sector start-up and now MSDUK member ParentMonitor was launched 11 months ago by entrepreneur Suresh Patel, of Castle Gardens, Leicester, after he was concerned about his own mother who lives in Leicester.
Rajen Thanki, 41, joined the city centre entrepreneur’s business not long after.
The ParentMonitor system installed in the home is able to detect a fall and send an instant phone alert on an app to their children or carers. They can then contact the emergency services or home carers.
Mr Thanki said: “My mum, who lives in Rushey Mead, had a fall at home a few years before this.
“She was 68 and although my dad was at home, he was in the shed. My mum spent an hour on the floor until my dad came back in.
“As soon as I found out what Suresh was creating, I wanted in.”
His business partner, computer scientist Mr Patel, 46, said: “My mum is 86 and lives at home alone.
“She was concerned about being on her own and asked me for something to help her feel safer.
“I wanted something that would work for me and my five siblings who live in different parts of the world”.
The care camera uses software to detect if a person has fallen, or not walked into a room which they normally would in their daily routine. No gadgets are worn and there are no buttons to press.
So far, the gadget has sent alerts on four falls for their clients, three of them overseas.
One of these is clients is University of Leicester neuroscientist Dr Martine Hamann, who had two ParentMonitor cameras installed in her mum’s home in France earlier this year.
Her mother is aged 84, has dementia and broke her hip when she suffered a fall in January.
She said: “Without the monitor, my mother would have been lying there for hours until the carer’s call.”
Even though she was 600 miles away, through the phone app, she was able to see her mother on the floor.
Dr Hamann contacted social services in France who sent a carer to her mother within 20 minutes. Then 25 minutes later the emergency services arrived to help her up and give her a check over.
Mr Thanki added: “It only needs an internet or Wi-Fi connection to work. We can monitor anywhere and send the alerts to family members wherever they are in the world.
“The knock-on effect to social services, emergency services and to the person who has fallen are all positive and make a big impact in helping the elderly live a more independent life in the comfort of their own homes.”