101 Guide | Voice Extender
In-home base units all have a two-way communication feature, which means that the base unit is used to communicate with the call center through the speaker and microphone built into it. When there is an emergency, the user only needs to press the help button and the call will immediately be initiated.
Shortly after pressing the help button, the person in need will hear the call center agent through the speaker inside the base unit. The base unit also has a microphone, which means that the user can talk to the agent through the same device.
However, the main drawback of this system is the fact that the speaker and microphone have a certain range which the user might not be able to hear the speaker, or be heard.
For example, if the user is in the other room when an emergency happens, he might be able to hear the call center agent, but the agent might not be able to hear him, as the user is too far away from the base unit’s microphone. The base unit is usually placed in a room where a user spends most of his time, such as a living room, but accident might happen anywhere in the house. In fact, reports confirm that a lot of falls tend to happen in the bathroom, due to slippery surfaces (learn more on fall detection pendant).
In such cases, it is useful to have an additional device, called the voice extender. Apart from the standard two-way feature, the voice extender is a great way to enhance the performance of the system and ensure that there will be no problems with communication in cases of emergency.
How Does It Work?
Voice extender functions and looks like a mini base station unit. It has a powerful speakerphone and microphone built in and can be easily mounted anywhere where additional two-way voice coverage is needed. This unit can also be mounted in the bathroom or any other isolated room in a house. Voice extender will then enable the user to communicate to the call center even if the user is away from the base unit.
The device can be mounted on the wall or be setup for table-top use. The voice extender requires connection to the power and phone lines in order to function. The device has a speaker and it is an ideal solution for large and/or multi-story homes, as it enables a user to cover a larger area of the house and thus make sure that it is possible to communicate clearly with call center agents, when an emergency happens.
Voice extender is not a part of the standard medical alert system package, rather it always comes as an add-on which must be purchased separately.
Regardless if the user has or does not have a voice extender, if the call center agent receives a call for help, but is unable to hear the user, the local emergency services are sent to the location automatically. Location and other profile information is available to the call center agent on the screen, as soon as the call is accepted.
Not all medical companies offer voice extender devices as an add-on option, check with each provider to learn about the costs and installation procedure. Last time we checked, only Alert-1 (rated in our top 5 list) and Philips Lifeline companies were providing this service.