How Amazon Echo replaced my Medical Alert-MS technology

How Amazon Echo replaced my Medical Alert-MS technology

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As with most of my blog, this too has a back story. About 4 years ago, in the middle of the night I heard my daughter doing something in the bathroom. I remember talking to her and then I remember being on the floor holding my head as blood was dripping down. I remember saying “call grandma”.

Since the day I got diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, if a call came in the middle of the night it was never a question that it was me. However up until this point it NEVER happened. This call didn’t result because I have multiple sclerosis either. I have low blood pressure too. I got up too fast and I fainted simple as that.  8 staples in my head later, my parents made me get a medical alert system for my house. See my daughter has cochlear implants and I was lucky, she was awake. Normally at night she takes them off and she’s deaf. If I fall I can’t call her, she won’t hear me.

4 years i had the system, wearing the device either around my neck or on my wrist. 4 years and never once did I need it. Now ask me how many times in 4 years did you by accidentally set it off? How many times did the police end up at the house because you were outside, not realizing you set it off? How many times did you fall trying to clear the device when it was accidentally set off? Those all answered many. I hated the system and it was going to hurt myself one day running to clear the “EMERGENCY” response code. I finally set it off “accidentally” for the last time, when the cops showed up I said ENOUGH!!!

In came Amazon Echo. If you never heard of Echo it is this little thing that can do almost anything. I was sitting on my couch and I asked “Echo,what is the current weather in Ithaca?” It answers “currently it is 32 degrees with cloudy skies, expecting a high of 44”. I’m an Amazon Prime member so I have full access to music with no additional costs. I can say play U2 and is will shuffle and play U2. However as amazing as Echo is, I’m not going to go into all of that. I’m going to just say what I did to replace the medical alert.

There is a free app call IFTTT. I have basically programmed the app in conjunction with Amazon Echo to trigger to call my mother’s home if I say a specific sentence.  In my case I say “Echo trigger Help”. The Amazon Echo then triggers the IFTTT app to call my mom.  This a YouTube video of the program (warning very corny but cool) https://youtu.be/DNPpicpZXw4

I went from paying $29.95 per month for a device I hated to spending a one time fee of $179 for something so cool. Trust me when I tell you Echo is very cool.  Plus I am still safe. Truth is if I fell and was unconscious medical alert wasn’t going to help me anyway because you need to hit a button to activate it.  Check out not only Eco but the IFTTT app because they do some really funky things.  I could have gone on forever but who really reads these long posts.

2 thoughts on “How Amazon Echo replaced my Medical Alert-MS technology

  1. I do. I read the long posts. Thank you for talking about Amazon Echo. I never know if new technology is a real advance or just a bunch of hype until someone reliable reviews it.

    1. Tested and true. Obviously she has to be home and I have to be conscious. 911 calls can’t be made by a computer which is why the program can’t call itself. It is good though. Very cool.

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