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Philips Introduces Breakthrough Medical Alert Service That Helps Enable Continued Independence for Seniors by Improving Access to Help in the Event of a Fall
Date:3/22/2010

FRAMINGHAM, Mass., March 22 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Royal Philips Electronics ( PHG, AEX: PHI) today introduced Lifeline with AutoAlert, an enhanced medical alert service.  This integrated solution offers an added layer of protection by combining the industry-leading Philips Lifeline medical alert service with automatic fall detection capabilities. Lifeline with AutoAlert features the only pendant-style help button that can automatically call for help if a fall is detected and a senior is unable to push his or her help button.  According to an internal laboratory study of simulated falls, Lifeline with AutoAlert detected 95 percent of many types of falls and had a low rate of false alarms.

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Seniors are living longer and remaining in their own homes; however, falls have become an epidemic problem that jeopardizes seniors' chances to live independently. Every year in the U.S., one out of three people age 65 and over will fall.(1)  This statistic translates to 13.3 million people who will fall in 2010, or one person falling every 2.3 seconds on average.(2)  

Among seniors, falls are the leading cause of nonfatal injuries and hospital admissions for trauma, as well as injury-related deaths.(3)  Close to 50 percent of seniors can't get up from a fall without help(4) and lying on the floor for an extended period of time can lead to serious complications, including: pressure ulcers, muscle necrosis, dehydration, hypothermia and pneumonia. The care and treatment of these potentially preventable complications are costly to the healthcare system and negatively impact quality of life for seniors.

Lifeline with AutoAlert is designed to help reduce the risk of long lie times.  If a fall victim receives help more quickly, that may reduce emotional distress and potential costs of extended treatment, rehabilitation and supported living.  With AutoAlert, if a fall is detected, subscribers still have the opportunity to receive quick access to assistance even in situations where they can't push their button, for example, if they lose consciousness, become immobilized, forget to push their button or won't push their button because they feel they can manage the situation independently. Just as important, the service can provide added confidence and peace of mind to the 22 million seniors who fear falling.(5)    

"One of the greatest threats to seniors is falls and associated injuries," said Walter van Kuijen, senior vice president and general manager, Home Monitoring, for Philips Healthcare. "For the cost of a cup of coffee a day, Lifeline with AutoAlert can help seniors maintain their independence and provide their caregivers even more peace of mind."

Bevereley Stoakley, a Lifeline program manager at Peninsula Regional Medical Center, an AutoAlert beta test site said, "Lifeline with AutoAlert provided a fast way for one of my subscribers to get help.  I believe by intervening quickly, my subscriber was revived from a faint pulse and likely avoided medical complications that often result from long lie times. My subscriber was back at home in two days."

For more information about Lifeline with AutoAlert, please visit: http://www.lifelinesys.com/autoalert or call 1-800-587-5128 to order the service.

About Royal Philips Electronics

Royal Philips Electronics of the Netherlands ( PHG, AEX: PHI) is a diversified Health and Well-being company, focused on improving people's lives through timely innovations. As a world leader in healthcare, lifestyle and lighting, Philips integrates technologies and design into people-centric solutions, based on fundamental customer insights and the brand promise of "sense and simplicity". Headquartered in the Netherlands, Philips employs more than 116,000 employees in more than 60 countries worldwide. With sales of $32.3 billion (EUR 23 billion) in 2009, the company is a market leader in cardiac care, acute care and home healthcare, energy efficient lighting solutions and new lighting applications, as well as lifestyle products for personal well-being and pleasure with strong leadership positions in flat TV, male shaving and grooming, portable entertainment and oral healthcare. News from Philips is located at www.philips.com/newscenter.

References

  1. CDC, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Fact Sheet on Falls. http://www.cdc.gov/HomeandRecreationalSafety/Falls/adultfalls.html. Original Study as noted in CDC report: Hausdorff JM, Rios DA, Edelber HK. Gait variability and fall risk in community–living older adults: a 1–year prospective study. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation 2001;82(8):1050–6.
  2. U.S. Census Bureau, Population Division, Interim State Population Projections, 2005.  Interim State Projections of Population for Five-Year Age Groups and Selected Age Groups by Sex: July, 1 2004 to 2020.
  3. CDC, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Fact Sheet on Falls. http://www.cdc.gov/HomeandRecreationalSafety/Falls/adultfalls.html. Originally from: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. Web–based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System (WISQARS) [online]. (2005)
  4. Falls, fractures, and injury, Merck Manual of Geriatrics, Section 2, Chapter 20, Topic: Falls. p.1. www.merck.com/mkgr/mmg/sec2/ch20/ch20a.jsp.
  5. Jette, Alan, PT, PhD, Fear of falling in older persons, White Paper published by Philips Lifeline, 2008, p 2.

SOURCE Philips Healthcare

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