X-Message-Number: 8282
From: Brian Wowk <>
Date: Wed, 4 Jun 1997 17:15:55 -0500 (CDT)
Subject: Death Alert Systems

Eugene Leitl <> writes:


>Best thing would seem to design the gadget something akin to a
>bulky wristwatch, very like a G-Shock. Multichannel biotelemetry
>goes to an immobile station hooked to the phone line, which then
>dials the CSP (Alcor, whatever), and yells for help. Movement,
>temperature, and photoplethysmography (cardiac-frequency
>modulation of tissue-backscattered NIR light) seem to suffice.

	Sounds like overkill to me.  Photoplethysmography
alone would suffice for sleeping.  Pulse oximeters that easily
fit onto a fingertip or toe are off-the-shelf medical instruments,
as are the alarm systems that indicate when blood oxygenation 
goes awry.  Pulse oximetry systems with RF links to a base station
are also off-the-shelf items, used in hospitals everyday.  

	Eugene's message was very insightful, but it also
underscored the difficulty of trying to create an alert system
that is all things to all people.  The cryonicists who most
urgently need these systems do not need GPS tracking (and do
you really want your spouse to know where you are at all times? ;)
but rather need simple vital sign monitoring with an autodialer
in their homes.

	I'd be surprised if an entire package that does all this
wasn't already on the market.  If not, then clearly it should be
doable with mostly off-the-shelf equipment and a minimum of
denovo engineering.

	Of course Eugene's other concerns...

>6) Once you've got some 10 customers, things are getting hairy.
>Idle cyclic calls, call time slots, multiple lines,
>authentication, resistance to malicious jamming, no-fail and
>fail-safe etc. issues come up, so questions of the
>appropriate protocol and centrale complexity (UPS,
>decentralization) can no longer be ignored.

still apply.  But again, I'm certain that commercial services 
(analogous to household alarm monitoring companies) already
exist to provide monitoring of dial-in medical alert devices.
Some of these dial-in alert devices (like the one where
you just press a button when in distress) have been available 
for a decade.  No need to reinvent the wheel. 

	Yea, I know I'm just an armchair commentator who 
hasn't made a personal effort to solve this problem.  But have
all those now involved in denovo engineering projects fully
examined the off-the-shelf options?  The need for these devices
is not unique to cryonicsts. 

Brian Wowk          CryoCare Foundation               1-800-TOP-CARE
President           Human Cryopreservation Services   

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