Medical Alarm Monitoring


For a Medical Alarm system to function efficiently and effectively it requires connectivity and hosting 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

The above statement is a kind of Utopia for both call centers and monitored individuals because in the Australian climate at anytime a storm can come through a town downing telephone lines and render all duress services useless.

What is IMPORTANT is how quickly the monitoring centre is made aware of such an incident to ensure monitoring is re-established a quickly as possible.

Click on the tabs below to read how analogue and digital monitoring differ.  On the'Digital tab' read about 'Dual Telemetry Devices'.


Analogue Medical Alarm Monitoring


Until now within the medical alarm industry there has only been analogue alarm receiver devices. Such an alarm receiver usually consists of some form of software and a telephone line interface. The software usually consists of the following:

  • An Alarm Server that handles alarms including how they should be presented and answered.
  • An Administration Program to allow  data to be added to a person’s emergency details  and other features of the system.
  • A Database for storage of emergency events, people, alarm devices, users, etc.
  • An Operator Program, which presents the alarm for the operator on the screen and also deals with the Statistics Module for the production of reports etc. 

The system connects via a number of telephone line interfaces depending on the Call Centre size. Telephone line interfaces, “black boxes”, are the devices that actually communicate with the medical alarm dialers and they are governed by the specific alarm protocols of the software program or manufacturer.

When these "black boxes" have to communicate with a wide range of units on the market, they must be able to handle a variety of communication protocols.  Communication protocols have previously only consisted of DTMF signals or other similar tones.

In addition to medical alarm receivers being able to receive full alarms the receiver can usually also receive test alarms.  However due to the actual cost restraints of telephone calls these test alarms are usually limited to a minimum of once a month to the maximum of once a day.




Medical Alarm Monitoring - Going Digital


The securities industry has for some time now made use of the digital alarm receivers for both burglar and fire alarms. Medical alarms, however, have only recently begun to make use of this technology.

An alarm receiver for a digital alarm is structured in much the same way as an analogue style receiver in that it is made up from software.  However, a digital alarm is a telephone line interface that is a part of the software.

A completely Digital receiver, or Gateway, is a flexible solution where the emergency response call centre operator does not need to be locked to a specific workstation, but instead, they may be able to log in from any computer regardless of geographic location.

Digital Call Centres are not dependent on limited incoming phone lines because the alarms go directly into the alarm server via the network / IP connection. There are no restrictions on the quantum of monitoring, other than the broadband speed that is available.  Of course most Call Centre’s are capable of combining the two technologies for alarm transmission and, in these cases, this is done through both IP connectivity and analogue phone lines.

Digital alarms, unlike analogue, are continuously monitored and the digital call center can immediately find out if a connected digital medical dialer unit stops working or has become disabled. In the analogue world this can be, at best, done within days or possibly weeks depending on the test times programmed into the unit.

New digital alarm receivers are being produced to take advantage of opportunities to be able to receive and send video, images, medical data, synthetic voice messages, etc.

Meeting Current Standards

Devices like the CareIP medial alarm device CareIP mobile is a true dual telemetry medial alarm device. CareIP mobile can deliver a SIP call over the Internet using current ADSL connections or any NBN device without the needs of a POTS connections. The CareIP mobile has a GSM modem that will deliver the call should at any time the internet connection not be available. The CareIP mobile has a back-battery that will last 40 hours as per the AS4607 standard. CareIP mobile uses radio frequency 433Mhz and 434Mhz again meeting Australia Standard AS4607.

CareIP™ is a digital Medical Alarm dialer unit which meets both the needs of now and the demands of the future.

The product is developed to offer the user a high quality voice-to-voice connection in the event of an alarm. CareIP™ utilizes a standardized protocol (SIP). SIP is a world standard protocol used to establish speech and possible video uplink via a broadband connection. In the event of loss of broadband connection, the CareIP™ has an inbuilt optional GSM modem for both voice and data transfer. The GSM option can also be used as the primary communications medium.

In addition to the alarm calls, CareIP™ provides a platform for sending detailed information concerning the unit itself, medical information and online status. Accessories are connected through standard approved wireless radio technology or any of the auxiliary inputs/outputs available.