I was originally approached to get involved with MonitorGo back in September. Before we even met I was asked to sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement, which forbade me from discussing any detail about the proposed device. Naturally, I was intrigued!
Expecting something of an anti-climax, I went along to the meeting and listened to Stephen (Bradbury, founder of MonitorGo) explain the concept of MonitorGo (for that was all it was at that stage). He gave me the background to why he’d sought out such a device in the first place; the story of his Uncle John and his father, both suffering from age-related conditions but both keen to continue to be independent; how the available personal alarm systems had failed them both in different ways; and how he had researched alternative products here and overseas but found nothing that met all the criteria he thought necessary to provide a comprehensive solution.
He then gave me an insight into the vision he had for a new device that would allow you to leave your home, that would enable you to call for help if you needed it, that would detect a fall or unconsciousness and raise the alarm even if you were not able to and that could track your location if you wandered off and became confused.
The meeting turned out to be as far from an anti-climax as you can imagine. In fact, it was one of the most interesting business meetings I’ve ever attended. I was hooked in and very keen to get involved. What I came away with that day was not just the excitement of being able to develop something new that could revolutionise the personal alarm market and that could make an enormous positive impact on the lives of older people but a real respect for Stephen and his motivation for creating something that was better, driven by his personal experience and funded by his own investment. Who better to develop such a product?
Of course I did get involved and I’ve been working with the team to develop the device, to get it ready to launch onto the market and create a brand. We’ve done our best to understand the issues that older people have, not only in terms of their mobility restrictions but in how adept they are in using the device and how they’ll feel about wearing it. We’ve created something that we’re really proud of and while we know we’ll need to continue that development process, it’s now ready to go.
We’ve spoken to a lot of people about MonitorGo over the last few months and the response has been extremely positive – there appears to be a genuine need for something like this and most people seem to have a ‘that would be great for my gran/mum/uncle/neighbour’ story (that’s another blog in its own right!). Having never lost sight of Stephen’s original aims we have created something that would have been ideal for his uncle and his dad, both sadly no longer with us.
They say the proof of the pudding is in the eating and that time is shortly upon us when we make MonitorGo available to buy in the next few weeks. We’re excited, nervous and hopeful to see what happens next – watch this space!
Written by Sarah Ainslie, MonitorGo Customer Champion