There are many GPS location devices available in New Zealand. These are a good option if cell phones are not. Things to consider are:
- Agreement is given by the person at risk.
- The person at risk will keep the device with them whenever they go out.
- Form of the device – a wrist device / pendant / clipped onto belt / keyring and size / weight so it fits with the person’s lifestyle.
- Some devices could be attached to a bike if the person always uses their bike to go out.
- The device could stay in their handbag or as a belt clip or key-ring.
- If the person always goes out with their pet dog then a device could be attached to the dog’s collar.
- A child may always keep a special object such as a toy to which the device could be attached.
- The device needs to be kept charged and turned on.
- The battery will last between a few days to weeks depending on what functions are active on the device.
- The person at risk stays within the cellular network coverage area. To check for coverage, see each Telcos’s coverage map: Spark
Vodafone and 2degrees
- The person at risk would generally need to purchase the device and/or some form of data plan that includes sufficient data or pay a monthly fee to the GPS Tracker provider.
- The person who is monitoring their family member will need internet access (or be within a cellular network and have data if using a cell phone).
- If monitoring is provided via a provider monitoring service, there maybe a limit on the number of alerts per month.
- Devices need to be carefully looked after. Some may come with protective covers allowing them to be more robust.
- What buttons are on the device – for example on/off and SOS alert that the person at risk can activate.
- What features are available for example, geo-fencing alerts. A boundary may be able to be set and when the device moves beyond that “fence” an alert is sent.
- The Cellular Network the device uses (usually 3G or 4G). Some devices use 2G, the only provider supporting this network is Vodafone in New Zealand. Vodafone is planning to shut the 2G network down in 2025. In Australia, the 2G network was shut down in 2018.
Examples of GPS devices:
ADT Home Assist beacons are a new offering. It is a mobile personal alert system and can be used for GPS location. It can also be used to make and receive calls with a limited number of contacts. This device is available from ADT Security or one of their agents. For more information and pricing for this device contact ADT Security or Security Alert.
Buddi Buddi is a medical alarm that offers GPS location, and is connected to an online portal where family/friends/carers can log in and locate the alarm. The supplier of the Buddi system is Tracecare. More information is available on their website.
Guardian Plus – Personal Safety Alarm is an offering from Direct Safety it can be used for GPS location. It has a number of other safety functions. It connects to the supplier’s 24/7 staffed Alarm Receiving Centre (ARC). For information on this device and price visit the website.
Guardian Support Services LifeGuard GPS – The LifeGuard products from Guardian Support Services represent a collection of GPS-SOS-2-way communication devices that are self-managed. They come in the form of either a watch or a pendant, tailored to meet your specific career requirements. These second-generation devices incorporate BLE beacon technologies, enhancing indoor locating capabilities. For further information, visit Guardian Support Services
Mercari Limited offer a Personal Medical Alert Alarm device. This device can be monitored by the family / Whanau /carer rather than through an agency. For information on this device and price visit the website.
Medical alarms with GPS function these new alarms are able to be used outside of the home and have GPS location capability. For more information visit the St John, SECURELY® or Freedom Medical Alarms websites.
There is more coming commercially available on the NZ market. Some allow you to communicate/talk with the person via a watch that is worn that requires a NZ sim card and allow GPS location, some only show GPS location of the watch on an app. As examples:
Spacetalk is a phone and GPS tracker in the form of a watch. The watches require a sim connection and active connection for calls. To find out more see their website.
Pixbee offer GPS watches with video calling that also requires an active sim connection. To see more click here.
To see which devices MSD currently fund please click here. Should you be eligible for WINZ funding or Disability Allowances please discuss your requirements with your case officer to see how MSD can assist with your individual situation.