Helping older family members live independently is a growing challenge for many people. A variety of “smart home” systems are available, and one recently released a new wearable component. Lively has a wireless network system that now includes a smartwatch that can display messages and be used as an emergency response alert device as well. One interesting feature of the system is that it does not rely on WiFi, so the user does not have to have an Internet connection in their home to make it work. Instead, it relies on a base station with cellphone service to transmit and receive data.

The watch includes a large orange button that can be pressed to alert Lively’s monitoring team. They will attempt to reach the user by telephone, and can summon emergency services if needed. The button-press can also trigger alerts to family members and caregivers by email, text message, or a mobile app. The watch also includes motion detection, so it reports on the user’s physical activity. According to the company’s website, the watch can communicate with the base station at distances of up to 1,500 feet.

The system also includes modules that can be attached to doors, pill boxes, house keys, or other objects in the home. These log activity and report it through the base station. The system can be programmed to help caregivers and family members track whether the user has prepared a meal or taken medications on time. A web-based dashboard and a mobile app provides an easy way to check on the user’s activity, and you can control who has access to the data. The watch can also receive alerts, reminding the wearer to take medication if they are overdue. The company plans to link the watch to smartphones so that the monitoring and emergency alert service can continue even when the wearer is away from the home. The system costs $30 a month with the watch, one base unit, and four sensors if you pay for a year at a time.