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K just bought a medical alert device

But she doesn't use it because she's too scared of setting it off by mistake

Photo of An Old Friend
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82-year-old K who lives alone purchased the Great Call medical alert device. It advertises the following features:

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HOWEVER, I was with her yesterday and she was going for an Indian wedding. She carried the device down with her to the car. She didn't want to wear it around her neck because that would ruin her outfit. She didn't have anything that she could safely clip it on to. She didn't want to put it in her purse because she was scared it would get jostled and go off by mistake. I asked her if they would charge her for a false alarm, to which she said no, but that they probably wouldn't take her seriously if something did happen and she actually needed help. 

What is a provocation or insight that might inspire others during this challenge?

This seems to be a top-of-the-line medical alert device but clearly it's not being implemented.

Tell us about your work experience:

I am an NYU student with three years of experience in the digital journalism field. I am now getting some expertise in the user testing field.

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Photo of Sheba Anyanwu

I think a lot of medical alert devices need to be updated and possibly iterated to continue addressing the needs of the elderly. A lot of these designs seem to function on the idea that elderly people are all the same, and their needs and stagnant which isn't true. Great write-up!

Photo of An Old Friend

Thanks Sheba Anyanwu , you're right, we can't treat them all the same.

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