Medical Guardian launches Freedom Guardian

New smart watch includes emergency response, transportation, and messaging capabilities
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Tuesday, January 16, 2018

LAS VEGAS—PERS company Medical Guardian at CES 2018 launched a new product, the Freedom Guardian, a smart watch designed specifically for seniors’ everyday use as well as for emergencies.

“It’s a smart watch for aging adults that was built with features just for them,” Medical Guardian founder and CEO Geoff Gross told Security Systems News. “All of a sudden, our average customer … is going to have a smart watch that resembles things that their kids and their grandkids have, but it’s made just for them.”

2018 was the first year that Medical Guardian had a booth at the Consumer Electronics Show. “We had a lot of positive response to the Freedom Guardian and everybody was really curious about the feature and excited about what it can do to expand the market,” Gross said.

“The core service of the Freedom is emergency help, which has always been our core service,” Gross said, adding that other features support this focus. The system has GPS and Wi-Fi included, making it “much more accurate as far as location services go.”

The Freedom Guardian can provide the time, weather forecasts, a step counter, and a transportation tool offered through a partnership between Medical Guardian and Lyft. “Through that, at the press of a button, [users will] be able to connect with our customer care department and we can arrange for a Lyft ride for our customers,” Gross said.

Increasing the transportation capabilities for users can help ward against other risks in the aging population, Gross pointed out. “Heart failure and falls are certainly something we focus on every day, but many are not focusing on loneliness and depression which can kill as well. So, we’re always focused on additional services that will get people moving, get them to where they want to go, keep people busy and happy, with the idea that it’ll increase the balance of life,” he said.

Users can also set alerts on the Freedom Guardian, such as medication reminders or calendar events. “Any reminder that you want—whether it’s done on a daily, a weekly or a monthly basis—will pop up on the watch, and give the user an opportunity to affirm the message,” said Gross. Caregivers can be alerted when the users affirm reminders. “We can do that one time a day, or five times a day—whatever’s needed.”

The Freedom Guardian also offers messaging features, where people can send text messages directly to the watch, to be read aloud to the system’s user who can then dictate a text message to be sent in reply. “We call it text-to-speech. So, you’ll be able to have a back-and-forth conversation simply by pressing a button and using your voice,” said Gross.

The system has a two-day battery life and communicates via 3G cellular. Gross said the Freedom Guardian should be available to consumers “by the end of Q1.”