Sometimes people ask me why I decided to found By Your Side--a startup focused on building a unique, personal safety beacon for those who are diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. In my case, the reason was simple necessity. My father, Milo, was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in the summer of 2013, and he was a man who loved to go walking and he loved being free. But, because he loved to go for long walks, he was known as a wandering risk. When someone is a wandering risk, they are likely to go for a walk, or a drive in their car, and just keep going without coming back. And that was a risk for Milo. So, I looked around for solutions that might be on the market, in the wearable tech space, but didn’t find what was needed. What I needed was a device that went with him, like on a keychain, and would signal me if he got into harm’s way. It needed a long battery life, a signal if he was out in weather that was too hot or too cold, a way to signal if he fell and got hurt, and a way to find him on a map if any of that happened. Because the search for that solution failed, I talked with some of my team members from a previous start up, explained what I was thinking of doing, and asked if they wanted to take a swing at it. And, to my great happiness, they agreed. We’re building By Your Side, an Alzheimer's-friendly personal safety beacon that gives you continuous awareness of where your loved one with Alzheimer's is, at all times, and alerts you if they wander, or fall, or get into extreme weather even right outside their own front door. By Your Side uses meticulously configured, state-of-the-art and non-intrusive GPS location technology, temperature sensors, accelerometers, and low frequency CDMA modems with assisted GPS and trilateration, and a month-long battery life in the size of a domino--based on our field research with institutions such as Brookdale, the Banner's Alzheimer's institute, Caregivers, and Health Care Professionals.
Written by: Dr. Greg Elofson, CEO, By Your Side