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Wearable GPS Technology and Devices

We appreciate your visit. Please note, we have moved our website to the this address. Please continue to visit us there for the latest news, updates for Wearable GPS Technology including GPS Smart Shoes, Personal Location Devices, and GPS Tracking Apps for your Smart Phone and Tablet.

CAREGIVERS ACROSS THE U.S. BEGIN TO MONITOR THEIR LOVED ONES WEARING INNOVATIVE GPS SHOES

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

GTX CORP DELIVERS 1,500 ‘GAME CHANGING INTERNET-CONNECTED DEVICES’ TO AETREX WORLDWIDE AS CAREGIVERS ACROSS THE U.S. BEGIN TO MONITOR THEIR LOVED ONES WEARING INNOVATIVE GPS SHOES

Los Angeles, CA – January 18, 2012– GTX Corp (OTCBB: GTXO), a leader in customizable, patented 2 way GPS Tracking Personal Location Services (PLS) solutions, delivers its second commercial order of 1,500 GPS devices to Aetrex Worldwide, Inc. a global leader in comfort and wellness footwear products. The GTX Corp miniaturized 2 way GPS tracking devices are embedded in the Aetrex Ambulator® collection bringing a reliable, trusted solution for monitoring the location of seniors afflicted with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia.

There are over 5.4 million seniors who suffer with Alzheimer’s and over 12 million caregivers that devote their lives to them, with millions more expected as the Boomer population ages; however Alzheimer's represents 60%-70% of all cognitive disorders, so in reality there are close to 9 million Americans suffering from impairments, like Autism, that can lead to wandering. The award winning, patented GPS Shoe solution is the world’s most ground-breaking product containing GPS tracking technology designed to help monitor and locate individuals who have a tendency to wander and become lost.

Professor Andrew Carle of George Mason University recently discussed this potentially lifesaving technology on the CBS Early Show and said, “These are only U.S. numbers with an estimated 25 million cases of Alzheimer worldwide expected to quadruple to 100 million short of a cure.”

With these statistics in mind and the central theme of this year’s Consumer Electronic Show - “internet - connected consumer devices are game changing…” the Company returned from last week’s largest CES in its 44 year history, with a roadmap to expand its partner alliance to help deliver GPS Shoes to 9 million adults and children in the U.S. with cognitive disorders and millions more across the globe. The Company is developing an aggressive plan to reduce the size of its miniaturized 2 way GPS device, provide a worldwide cellular coverage plan, increase its intellectual property portfolio and add new channel partners domestically and internationally.

For licensing and distribution inquiries please contact GTX Corp at info@gtxcorp.com  and for consumers interested in purchasing the Aetrex GPS Shoes please go to www.aetrex.com/gps  

The GPS Shoes are available for consumers to purchase in both men’s and women’s styles for $299 with a $30 to $40 monthly monitoring service plan.

                                                                                           # # #

About GTX Corp
(GTXO.OB) a leader in enterprise 2 way GPS (Global Positioning System) real-time personal location services (PLS) was founded in 2002 and is based in Los Angeles, California with distributors in Mexico, Australia and Nepal and customers in 141 countries. GTX Corp utilizes the latest in miniaturized, low power consumption technology and offers a robust enterprise GPS and cellular location platform to track in real time the whereabouts of people, pets, and high valued assets. Answering the “where is” question through a licensing business model and providing a complete end-to-end solution of hardware, middleware, apps, connectivity and professional services, letting you know where someone or something is at the touch of a button. GTX Corp also owns and operates LOCiMOBILE, Inc which develops GPS applications for smart phones and tablets, Code Amber News Service, and Code Amber Alertag. The Company has an aggressive intellectual property strategy and owns an extensive portfolio of patents, patents pending, registered trademarks, copy rights and URL's.

Visit online: www.gtxcorp.com www.facebook.com/gtxcorp www.twitter.com/gtxcorp
Product and licensing - info@gtxcorp.com  
Investor Relations - ir@gtxcorp.com  
Media - Suzy Ginsburg (713) 721.4774 suzy@gcomworks.com  
To learn more about the GPS Shoes go to: or www.gpsshoe.com  

Safe Harbor Statement
The information made available in this press release contains certain forward-looking statements which reflect GTX Corp.’s current view of future events and financial performance. Wherever used, the words “estimate”, “expect”, “plan”, “anticipate”, “believe”, “may” and similar expressions identify forward-looking statements. Any such forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties and the company’s future results of operations could differ materially from historical results or current expectations. Some of these risks include, without limitation, the company’s ability to execute on its contracts, customer’s acceptance of its products, the market acceptance of two-way tracking devices, managing regulatory compliance and/or other factors that may be described in the company’s annual report on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q and/or other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Future economic and industry trends that could potentially impact revenue and profitability are difficult to predict. The Company assumes no obligation to publicly update or revise its forward-looking statements even if experience or future changes make it clear that any projected results express or implied therein will not be realized.

GTX Corp does not warrant or represent that the unauthorized use of materials drawn from the content of this document will not infringe rights of third parties who are not owned or affiliated by GTX Corp. Further GTX Corp cannot be held responsible or liable for the unauthorized use of this document’s content by third parties unknown to the company.
 
GTX Corp Ships First 3,000 GPS Shoe Devices to Footwear Partner Aetrex Worldwide, Inc.

Alzheimer’s Claims a New Victim every 7 Seconds and dementia had an estimated worldwide cost in 2010 of $604 billion

 

 

LOS ANGELES, CA September 21, 2011: GTX Corp (OTCQB: GTXO), a leader in customizable, miniaturized GPS Personal Location Services (PLS) solutions, announced today the FCC certification of the GPS Shoe and the delivery of the first 3,000 units to shoe partner Aetrex Worldwide, Inc. As millions of boomers are approaching 65 and in recognition of World Alzheimer's Day on September 21, 2011, GTX Corp is proud to announce the release of the world's first GPS tracking technology to be imbedded into comfort and wellness shoes for individuals afflicted with Alzheimer's disease and related dementia.

“This is a significant milestone for both Companies and while the $604 billion worldwide cost of dementia has become and will continue to be a significant fiscal challenge, the under $300 GPS enabled shoes will ease the enormous physical and emotional burden borne by Alzheimer’s victims, caregivers and their geographically distant family members,” states Patrick Bertagna CEO of GTX Corp and co inventor of the award winning, multi patent GPS Shoe.

 

"The GPS Shoe has the potential to be life saving, as well as life changing technology for those afflicted and their caregivers," says Andrew Carle, who has been internationally recognized for coining the term “Nana” Technologies for describing technology for older adults. Carle has served as an advisor to GTX Corp for the past 3 years and is additionally Director of the Program in Senior Housing Administration at George Mason University in Fairfax, VA. "The shoes also hold the potential to save governments hundreds of millions of dollars in search and rescue operations, as well in health care costs for those otherwise injured." The World Alzheimer Report 2010 provides the clearest, most comprehensive global picture yet of the economic impact of Alzheimer's disease and dementia.

Over five million Americans suffer from Alzheimer’s and without a cure; those numbers are expected to quadruple, to more than 20 million in the U.S. and 106 million worldwide. Statistics show 60% of those afflicted will wander and become lost and up to half of those lost who are not found within 24 hours may die, from dehydration, exposure, or injury. Because paranoia is a manifestation of the disease, many will remove objects placed upon them with which they are unfamiliar. However, habitual memory, which includes getting dressed, is the last type of memory retained in individuals with Alzheimer's. Affirming the placement of the miniaturized 2-way GPS technology in comfort and wellness shoes an efficient and useful monitoring solution for the estimated 15 million family and caregivers of people suffering from the disease.

The Aetrex GPS Shoes will be available for sale at www.aetrex.com, www.gpsshoe.com, www.foot.com and www.gtxcorp.com  for an estimated retail price of $299 anticipated beginning in or around the second half of October.

About GTX Corp

 

GTX Corp® utilizes the latest in miniaturized, low power consumption technology and offers a robust 2 way GPS and cellular location platform that enables subscribers to track in real time the whereabouts of people, pets, or high valued assets through a complete end to end - customizable GPS/GPRS transceiver module, wireless connectivity gateway, Smartphone Apps, middleware, and viewing portal. For further information please visit:

 

www.gtxcorp.com | www.facebook.com/gtxcorp | www.twitter.com/gtxcorp | www.gtxo.irnewsroom.com

 

General / Licensing Information - info@gtxcorp.com

Investor Relations | ir@gtxcorp.com

Media | Suzy Ginsburg | (713) 334-2357 | suzy@gcomworks.com



I want to buy it here and now.

Contactless (wireless) electronic payment transactions using your mobile device are on the verge of exponential growth as standards and contactless technology have evolved over this past decade. Near Field Communication (NFC) is the contactless technology that has made its way into the forefront and will be integrated into “soon to be released” handsets for making mobile payments, also called m-Payments.

 

According to a report by Research and Markets, in 2009 the value of all mobile payment transactions in the U.S, including SMS-type transactions, was $5.2 billion, constituting 6% of the global value of mobile payment transactions. This is expected to reach $56.7 billion in 2015, growing at a CAGR of 49.2%. The market share of the U.S. in 2015 is forecasted to reach approximately 10.6% of the global mobile payment transactions. NFC-enabled phones will be a significant contributor to this market growth.

Around 1.2billion mobile phones were sold last year, 174million of which were smartphones and 50million of them are GPS enabled.

Location based GPS services will allow marketers to target smartphone wielding consumers based on their proximity to a marketer's location; enabling retailers to target opt in shoppers with real time delivery of special offers and other services. By the end of the year, 85 percent of mobile devices shipped will have web browser capabilities and that means streaming video –
which translates into commercials, trailers and promotions.

Handset manufacturers are beginning to recognize the value proposition of NFC-enabled phones and are introducing many Smartphones with NFC beginning in 2011. Contactless proximity payment trials to date have clearly benefited from the ability to leverage the contactless infrastructure that already exists in many regions of the world – for now the services are mostly outside the US. But when domestic retailers know where you and your wallet are one could expect that the offers will be frequent and owing to that frequency, mobile advertising will reap significant rewards in 2011.

GTXCorp has aggressively participated in the emergence of 2-way GPS location based services focusing on people seeking people utilizing its patented GPS platform. While the percentages of total mobile subscribers using these technologies are for the moment relatively small, in the not so distant future, the revenue potential and concurrent social impact those opportunities will have – are presently incalculable.

The adoption of a technology accelerates when it’s learned intuitively.

With just the push a button…that is what we all want to hear when we take on a new device or technology. We want the learning curve to be short and shallow and to get that we buy into all the shortcuts the developers offer us so that we don’t have to drag ourselves through tutorials.
Our only other option is to corner those that are amp’d on a device or app and ask them to show us how to do the things we could not pick up on our own.

GPS navigation is a good example of intuitive product development. Turn it on and it tells you where you are. Put in the destination and it tells you how to get there. But 2 way GPS Personal Location Services – locating people and getting their permission to do so, tracking an asset, setting a geo-fence are all easy enough to do with GPS Tracking apps when you know how, but more importantly when you know why you want to use the technology and how to take full advantage of all that it offers.

Take a look at how it works…you might be surprised how GTX Corp made it easy.

When don’t you have to look high and low for a GPS Tracking App?

When the GPS tracking apps from LOCiMOBILE are all ready embedded in the new Skytex Technology, Inc. 7” Android 2.2 tablet with wifi/GPS due for release in a couple of weeks.

Better still, the tablet is the perfect device to receive wandering and elopement alerts from those afflicted with Alzheimer’s and track them with the patented GPS Smart Shoes marketed by
Aetrex Worldwide, Inc.

GTX Corp (GTXO.OB) a leader in enterprise 2 way GPS real-time Personal Location Services (PLS) was founded in 2002 and is based in Los Angeles, California with distributors in Mexico, Australia and Nepal and customers in 104 countries. GTX Corp utilizes the latest in miniaturized, low power consumption technology and offers a robust enterprise GPS and cellular location platform to track in real time the whereabouts of people, pets, vehicles and high valued assets which include grandma and grandpa. 

Proximity marketing will push Location Based Services revenues to nearly $13Billion

Knowing where you are will give you the answer to the “where is” question.

Recent developments in GPS positioning technologies could drive revenues from mobile location-based services to more than $12.7 billion by 2014, according to a new report published by Juniper Research.
 
Revenues will come from sales of apps through application stores and other channels, but also from mobile advertising tied to those apps. In fact, the Juniper report notes that advertising will likely form an increasing share of Mobile Location Based Services-related revenues over the next five years.
In the words of co-author Dr Windsor Holden:“Location-based applications are extremely interesting for brands and retailers in that they allow those companies to direct consumers to outlets in their vicinity while simultaneously providing information about the products on offer. When these are allied to measures such as mobile coupons and vouchers, you have the combination of information and financial incentive which can be compelling for consumers.”
 
Enterprises making noise in the LBS space:
 
Mobile question and answer startup ChaCha is on a roll, possibly achieving profitability, raising boatloads of money, and even venturing into social media with a Facebook app. Today, ChaCha is getting into the business listings game with local business search company Localeze. Localeze will provide ChaCha’s website with in-depth information about more than 15 million businesses across the country.
 
ChaCha.com visitors can access the local business listings in a search bar and through a direct listings page. In both cases, they will be served a full content page that includes Google maps, directions, phone, and other contact information. And of course, any questions and answers related to the business can be found on the content pages. Business listings can also be viewed by category and or state and city. Eventually, ChaCha’s listings will be integrated with its chachacoupons.com site.
 
Peanut Labs Media launches Cherry Deals.  Cherry Deals tracks location when users buy virtual goods when playing social games and offers deals on real goods.
 
GTX Corp utilizes miniaturized 2 Way GPS Devices and GPS Tracking Apps carried on multiple cellular platforms to enable those subscribers with permission to follow people, pets, vehicles or valued assets in real time and to participate in Location Based Social Networking through its LOCiMOBILE subsidiary.
 

LOCiMOBILE GPS Tracking apps ride the Android wave of popularity.

Google’s operating system for cellphones has overtaken Nokia’s Symbian system as the market leader. In the three months through December, manufacturers shipped 33.3 million cellphones running Android, Google’s free, open-source cellphone operating system, up from just 4.7 million a year earlier, according to Canalys, a research firm in Reading, England.

Analysts said the figures represented a tectonic shift in the industry, cementing the influence of Google’s advertising-driven business on the mobile Internet. And this year, according to the research firm Gartner, more people will gain access to the Internet through mobile devices than with personal computers.

Three popular GPS tracking apps from LOCiMOBILE are available from the Android Marketplace that have downloaded

More Mobile Users Now Accessing Maps via Application than via Browser

comScore a leader in measuring the digital world, today released a study on mobile map usage based on data from its comScore MobiLens service. The study found that 14 percent of mobile users in the U.S. accessed maps on their devices in April 2010, as the mobile map audience reached 33.5 million users, up 44 percent from the previous year. The study also found that more mobile users now access maps via application than via browser, demonstrating the success of applications in penetrating the mobile map market.

Smartphone users drove growth in both application and browser map usage with app access nearly tripling to 12.7 million smartphone users, while browser map access surged 93 percent to nearly 9 million smartphone users. The number of mobile map app users first surpassed mobile map browser users in February 2010. Today, the “where is” question has more answerers and even more answers.



The year of the social customer will be 2011

Asking. Finding. Sharing. Deciding – Once each of these was a single, independent action, that now have been transitioned into continuous and integrated user applications providing streams of connective communications.
What was once no one else’s business has become everyone’s business.

Through miniaturized 2-way communicators, supported by an ever growing asset base of third party applications and always connected handsets, the consumer has been empowered with mobility taking their social circle with them everywhere.

 

 

GPS tracking appsSkytex Technology, Inc. 7” Android 2.2 tablet with wifi/GPS due for release in a couple of weeks.

Better still, the tablet is the perfect device to receive wandering and elopement alerts from those afflicted with Alzheimer’s and track them with the patented GPS Smart Shoes marketed by
Aetrex Worldwide, Inc.
from LOCiMOBILE are all ready embedded in the new
 
A more apt description for what was once a ‘telephone’ might better be renamed a Personal Branding Device. The branded one to many and many to one ‘sharings’ include location, likes, wants, data, desires, options and occasionally a live voice conversation. According to Rajeev Chand, managing director and head of research at Rutberg & Co., consumer mobile app developers attracted more investment dollars than semiconductors, devices or any other segment of the wireless industry. We know from where we have come, but to find out where we are going in 2011 and beyond check out GTXCorp.


We cannot leave home without our smartphone

According to a survey from Deloitte, Revolutions 2010, smartphone apps are indeed transforming consumer behavior. More consumers are turning to their smartphone for entertainment, news and information than previous traditional sources.
 
From the survey, 62 percent of respondents said the availability or presence of mobile apps causes them to carry their smartphones when they otherwise would not. That means as consumers, we cannot leave home without our smartphone.
 
Testament to the survey’s view of changing consumer behavior patterns can be seen asApple nears 10 billion app downloads. It only took Apple took nine months to reach 1 billion downloaded wireless applications, and less than two years later, the company is getting ready to issue a $10,000 iTunes gift card to the person who downloads app number 10 billion. At the current pace, this milestone will be reached Jan. 23. Research firm Asymco says that across all three of the iOS-supported devices, users have downloaded an average of 60 apps each.
 
GTX Corp  (GTXO) has been aware of this trend for years developing a portfolio of GPS Tracking and GPS based LOCiMOBILE applications that eschew the public commercialism of Four Square and Gowalla for a robust, private set of functional apps that provide easy to access permission based location information.


Everyone is asking the “where” question.
Where is my kid, my friend, my spouse, my Alzheimer’s afflicted father and even where am I. CBS Los Angeles Bob McCormick with Money 101 has found an answer in miniature embedded technology.



The not-so-obvious top 15 Android apps for 2010

By Tim Conneally | BetaNews  December 28, 2010, 1:34 PM


2010 was a big year for Google's Android mobile operating system, as it moved at a lightning pace from a minority position into the position of most popular operating system in the United States. Still, when retrospectives are put together for "best apps of the year" lists, editors often make choices that seem obvious. We've put one together for 2010 that hopefully avoids the more self-explanatory choices.

LOCi
-- This GPS tracking app is available for $2.99 in the Android Market, but has the option for a $29.99 annual subscription mode that lets you switch on private, real-time tracking. This lets one user track another user's location live through a desktop Web browser without sharing that location with anyone else. It's a feature not available on the iPhone version of the same app, and is actually surprisingly useful.

LOCiMOBILE has 3 apps in the Android Market. Each answers the “where is question.”  The first, GPS Tracking – This app allows users to share their location via SMS notification. The app offers privacy through an opt-in Yes or No whether to share your location or not with each location request.

The second, Phone Tracking –
a theft recovery lost & found App that is designed to work in the background and can be activated to turn on remotely in the event you misplace your phone.
You can activate the real-time tracking and recovery feature by texting your phone. You can also track your phone by logging on to www.gpstrackingapps.com.

The third, Tracking Pro lets you know in real time where your friends & family are by pushing the map button on your phone. Add user one time & then the app runs in the background. Now You can add unlimited contacts & track them from your phone.App also works with a website and Blackberry phones.Visit us at www.gpstrackingapps.com

The apps, can be found with Google mobile search and in the Android Market. You can search for GTX or click on this link: http://www.androlib.com/r.aspx?r=gtx                                                



Forrester found that check-in users were predominantly male which tells us that there are many women not using check-in service using because of safety and privacy concerns.
 
That’s why the very smart folks at LOCiMOBILE came up with iCheck-In ™. The non-app that tells who you want where you are, what your doing and how they can get from where they are to where you are. Now you can share with some, but not all and keep your privacy private.
 
It's important to note that while check-in apps haven't gone main stream yet, that doesn't mean they never will. As Pew noted in its report, there was a time when Twitter wasn't popular either – as of 2008 only 6% of adults used Twitter. In just two years its user base has grown to 24%. Check-in apps will in all probability see a similar trend.
 
For those penny stock investors, LOCiMOBILE is a business unit of GTX Corp (OTCBB: GTXO.OB) which utilizes GPS and cellular location platforms enabling subscribers to track the whereabouts of; people, pets, vehicles or assets in real-time through its proprietary end to end solutions through smartphone apps, middleware, viewing portals and now, iCheck-in.. Check it out.


The nobody’s else’s business, but your own – social check-in with extras
 
Introducing iCheck-in – the newest and most privacy protected solution to sharing your location with others of your choosing.

With a single click of a smartphone button an iCheck-In ™is either sent as an e-mail or a direct posting to your Facebook wall.

What you send a contact includes; your what’s up message with a Google map and turn by turn directions to get from their wherever to where you are right now as an extra.
 
LOCiMOBILE is a business unit of GTX Corp (OTCBB: GTXO.OB). It has more than 750,000 personal location service users in 100 countries – from Kathmandu to Klamath Falls you can find people finding people with apps, devices and software you can’t find anywhere else. GTX Corp® utilizes the latest in miniaturized GPS and cellular location platforms enabling subscribers to track the whereabouts of; people, pets, vehicles or valued assets in real time through a proprietary end to end solution via smartphone apps, middleware, and viewing portals.

LOCiMOBILE iCheck-In ™does not need an app to let those in your contact listlearn what you’re doing and where you’re at… IF and WHEN you want them to know.At GTX Corp we make GPS Tracking Devices for every need, including GPS Tracking for your cell phone.

Using our GL 100 GPS Tracking Device, students from the Bay School were able to pinpoint the location of their near-space balloon from start to finish. Synopsis below...

Dear GTX Corp,

I was lucky enough to have been lent one of your GL 100 LOCi GPS tracking devices for a recent high school project. It worked tremendously and I want to describe the experience for you.

On May 22nd, 2010, a balloon containing probes and an HD video camera constructed by 12 students at The Bay School of San Francisco was launched from Carmel State River Beach, and traveled over 75,000 feet into the air before bursting and returning to earth some 80 minutes later. The balloon and its attached equipment traveled close to 80 miles east, landing on the edge of the central valley. In order to observe the movements vertically and horizontally of the balloon, including locating its landing spot so that recovery could be achieved, the team of students used three separate methods to track the travel of the near space balloon.

One of these methods was the use of a LOCi tracker. This device, only a couple inches in length, is a new design from GTX Corp (GTXO) using a multi-step process to track whatever it is attached to in real time. The first operation is to figure out its location by triangulation from satellites, using standard GPS technology. It then broadcasts its location in cellular wave format, using standard cell towers to get the information back to GTX’s servers, where the location is stored for the end user to see via GTX’s website.

GTX Corp's GL 100 GPS Tracking Device

Traveling up to 75,000 feet in the air, and surviving under the extreme conditions that prevail there is an extreme challenge for any electronic device, but the LOCi tracker preformed admirably, recording its location and sending out its location whenever it was possible to establish a connection to a cell tower. When the balloon had traveled to a certain height, it was impossible to reach down to the cell towers which were not designed for this purpose, so there is a temporary blank spot on the map when this occurred, however, after the balloon ascended to within range of a cell tower, it immediately began re-broadcasting.

The LOCi tracker worked remarkably well in finding its location and sending it back out so that from anywhere in the world, we could view its location via internet. The genius of the design is in the simplicity. There is very few ways for this to go wrong, and we did not experience any of it. Without accurate tracking on the balloon, we not only would not have known its height and travel pattern, but we also never would have found where it landed, which was necessary to recover the recorded video. The LOCi tracker never failed in this regard. Here is a webpage including information about, and a video of, the flight of the near space balloon: http://ikaros.xrg.us/

Robin Cassatt-Johnstone Age 16, Junior The Bay School

Keeping track of seniors with Alzheimer's 


Dealing with Senior's who walk off.

May 29, 2010

The e-mail alert shouted its message: "Missing Person with Alzheimer's. PLEASE HELP." It was sent to Alzheimer's Assn. chapters and to law enforcement officials within hours after an Orange County woman disappeared while on a short trip to visit a friend.

The woman had set out in her car, made a wrong turn and became confused, says her family, who asked that her name not be used to protect her privacy.

During the next two days, she zigzagged her way across two states, making one wrong turn after another, putting ever more miles between herself and her home as she headed east.

"She had a cellphone, but it wasn't turned on," says her daughter, Susan. "It was a nightmare."


The 86-year-old woman had been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease, but her wrong-way journey shocked her family because until then, she had been able to function normally.

As soon as Susan called the Alzheimer's Assn. to report that her mother was missing, the organization began sending out alerts asking Good Samaritans who saw the woman to contact MedicAlert + Safe Return, a 24-hour nationwide emergency response service for individuals who wander.

The woman, meanwhile, was still at the wheel, driving south to San Diego, then east to Tucson. Finally, she pulled over to the side of the road and asked an Arizona state trooper how to get to California. He directed her to west Interstate 10. Several hours later she was stopped near Indio by a California Highway Patrol officer, who contacted her family.

"She's doing fine now," says Susan. "We took away her car and license, of course."

That story has a happy ending, but many confused seniors who become lost are never found again. The Alzheimer's Assn. estimates that 60% of individuals with Alzheimer's will wander at least once during the progression of the disease. Up to 70% of these individuals wander more than once, and up to several times. One study reported that nearly half of those not found within 24 hours die — usually from dehydration, exposure or injury.

"It's a scary situation for families who have a relative who wanders," says Dr. Lisa Gibbs, a UC Irvine geriatrician who directs the school's Health Assessment Program for Seniors. "It's easy for the person to get lost and hurt. They're also very vulnerable to people who might want to take advantage of them."

Products such as MedicAlert + Safe Return offer families a way to track lost loved ones: It's one in a burgeoning field, with dozens of devices on the market and new devices and products popping up all the time. Most tracking systems are GPS-based, using the same technology that's found in car navigation units.

Television commercials for the devices, called family trackers, have become commonplace; they are aimed primarily at parents who worry about their children wandering away during an outing. A small device can be stowed in a child or adult's pocket, purse or backpack; some are incorporated into wrist bands. They range in price from $100 to about $400, with monitoring costs of up to $80 per month. Most can be purchased online.

At the low end of the technology spectrum is MedicAlert + Safe Return,
http://www.medicalert.org/safereturn, an inexpensive program endorsed by the Alzheimer's Assn.

The product consists of an engraved wristband or dog tag that contains information about the wearer. One call to the number written on the band activates a community support network to help reunite the lost person with their family. When a person is found, a citizen or law enforcement official can call a toll-free 24-hour emergency response number, and the individual's family or caregivers are contacted, as in the Orange County woman's case. Costs are $24.95 to set up a plan and an additional $25-a-year fee.

The downside? A Good Samaritan has to see the tag and be able to get close enough to read it. The upside: In the Southland, 160 people have been found because of the Medic Alert + Safe Return tag, according to Jane Dickinson, Alzheimer's Assn. representative. The product also includes the Alzheimer's Assn. e-mail alert system, which was triggered when Susan's mother was reported missing.

Comfort Zone, another product endorsed by the association, is similar to other GPS devices on the market, except that it was designed primarily for people who have dementia. Family members can program it to operate in several ways: In early stages of the disease, it can be used to track a person in a car. In later stages, it can be converted to a bracelet. Alerts are sent to caregivers via computer or text messages. Costs are $199 to $299 to purchase the device, $45 for activation and $45 to $79.99 in monthly monitoring fees.

"What complicates search and rescue for individuals with Alzheimer's disease is that, unlike a lost child, many will not respond to calls to them, nor will they call out for help," says educator Andrew Carle. "They often also become quickly frightened and attempt to hide — making locating them more difficult." Carle, an assistant professor at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va., specializes in aging and senior housing issues.

A problem inherent with many of the devices is that they can be removed: A patient with dementia might take off a bracelet or remove a device from his or her pocket, Carle says.

"Paranoia is a manifestation of the disease, so people with AD will often remove anything placed on them with which they are unfamiliar — for example, a 'clip on' or other distinct device. For the same reason, they are also adept at getting around locks, alarms or other devices intended to stop them — and, once having done so, are difficult to find."

Carle's personal favorite among the monitoring systems on the market is scheduled to be released for retail sale this summer: GPS Shoes. The shoes, which will be sold at
http://www.foot.com, (800) 526-2739, will contain a tiny embedded tracking device. Whenever the wearer wanders off more than a pre-set distance, the caregiver will receive an alert by telephone and computer.

The Aetrex Ambulator GPS Shoe will retail for $200 to $300, with monthly tracking available for $22.95 to $39.95, says Patrick Bertagna, chairman of GTX Corp., which builds the tracking device that will be embedded in the shoes.

The device will work anywhere there is cell coverage. If Susan's mother had been wearing the shoes when she departed on her 500-mile journey, her family might have found her more quickly.

This column on caring for, and staying connected with, aging family members appears monthly. Comments:
home@latimes.com

 

Knowledge is not only powerful, it is rewarding too. If you know where to look.

 
The explosion of GPS options is positively staggering. Stand alone navigation devices, tracking devices, integrated phone applications, geocaching, geotagging, and GPS games, but to name a few of the off-the-self products and services.
 
But what if you need to design a system that manages secure shipments of valuables traveling by common carrier, or tracks traveling executives in embattled foreign countries or monitor the whereabouts of a few thousand Alzheimer victims in

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