ISRAEL - High-Tech for Monitoring the Elderly

Arno Froese

Independent living at home is the ideal for every aging person. But a fall or other health-threatening incident can change everything in the blink of an eye.

The wearable “panic buttons” introduced in the late 1980s were a great advance. But they only work if people actually wear them and can reach the button in an emergency. Today there are passive wearables that automatically detect falls, and camera-based surveillance systems to monitor elder safety.

Coming from a 30-year career in the semiconductor and wireless communication field, Rafi Zack decided to find a better alternative.

“People aren’t committed to wearing gadgets 24/7, and camera-based systems are an invasion of privacy,” points out Rafi Zack.

Zack is cofounder, CEO and vice president of R&D at EchoCareTechnologies, which has developed ECHO (Elderly Care Home Observer), a cloud-connected monitor based on radar technology and machine learning.

EchoCare tested the device in the United States, Japan, Australia and Israel. ECHO was certified in Japan in 2019.

“Japan has the most aging population in the world, and they don’t want foreign caregivers, so it’s a worldwide beta testing site for aging tech,” Zack explains.

“In March, Israel’s Ministry of Defense started looking for technologies to use in hospitals for remote respiratory monitoring in the ER—to see if the patient had likely Covid—and for patients on Covid-19 wards where staff can’t enter the room at all times. It had to measure respiratory rate every hour, it had to be non-wearable to avoid device contamination, and it had to cover the bathroom area. Our system does all that,” says Zack.

Zack notes that prior to the pandemic, “the remote homecare market was estimated to be $15 billion, but now as elderly people become more isolated as a result of social distancing, there is an increased need to monitor them without the burden of wearables or privacy-invading cameras.”, 27 October 2020

Arno's commentary

Israel does it again. When it comes to high tech, personal security, and healthcare, Israel seems to be second to none.

Obviously, there is more than meets the eye. Any type of passive or active monitoring can be stored indefinitely. Though extremely beneficial—in this case, for the elderly—this doubtless will lead to more control, more information.

Nevertheless, we must keep in mind that virtually all technological developments will ultimately lead to total independence from God the Creator. That is the avenue utilized by the god of this world, to bring about a very successful, peaceful, and secure global world—albeit temporary.

Arno Froese is the executive director of Midnight Call Ministries and editor-in-chief of the acclaimed prophetic magazines Midnight Call and News From Israel. He has authored a number of well-received books, and has sponsored many prophecy conferences in the U.S., Canada, and Israel. His extensive travels have contributed to his keen insight into Bible prophecy, as he sees it from an international perspective.

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