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Last Updated: Wednesday, 15 November 2006, 18:49 GMT
Mobile phone lifeline for carers
Technology which can turn mobile phones into walkie-talkies and panic buttons is to provide a helping hand for carers and those they look after on Wearside.

The specialist software has been developed by Sunderland City Council and communication experts.

It transforms the phones into a support system and safety device for a range of people dependent on carers.

The pilot system displays a messages and vibrates. If there is no reply a contact centre will be alerted.

Summon help

It will relay standard messages such as "Have you taken your medicine?", "I'll be back soon" or "Are you OK?".

Kevin Devine, from Sunderland Carer's Centre, said: "This pilot scheme could change so many people's lives.

"Where at the moment it might be difficult to leave the person they're looking after, now carers can go out to get shopping or medicine reassured by the fact that those in their care can literally press a button on their mobile phones to summon help.

"They'll be able to keep in constant contact, and that means so much a lot of terms of personal safety and promoting independent living."


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