Many of us have read news reports about elderly men and women, often suffering from dementia, who turn up missing after wandering away from home. It's a frightening occurrence that one State College company hopes to prevent in senior-care facilities.
The BuzNet Real-Time Locating System, developed by Buzby Networks
, would function sort of like GPS tracking, only indoors. It works by outfitting residents with locator tags that can be built into pendants, bracelets or anklets. A system of routers inside a building keeps track of each tag and maps its location on a computer displaying a floor plan of the building it's in. Each tag is color-coded: blue means the tag's wearer is safe, yellow means a resident is near an area like a door or stairwell, and red means someone has left the building.
"We have a very simple and easy-to-install product, so it's a lower cost compared with our competitors," says Buzby's president and CEO, Erik Davidson. He says the company's idea is for seniors' families and care-facility staff to decide whether a particular person needs a location tag to stay safe and accounted for.
Buzby's next step is to pilot the BuzNet system in senior care facilities, an effort to which the Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Central and Northern Pennsylvania
are loaning about $110,000. The company hopes to start selling the system in mid-2012.
Source: Erik Davidson, Buzby Networks
Writer: Rebecca VanderMeulen