Often, we get asked how Alert It started and why we are so passionate about what we do, so I thought I would reflect on how far we have come and share our story.
The twisting path that led to developing a sophisticated range of support monitors supplied by Alert-iT began in 1992. At the time, company founder David Godfrey volunteered for REMAP, a fantastic charity network that creates custom-made equipment to help disabled people achieve more independence.
A local mum in Hinckley (Leicestershire) wanted a device that would alert her when her daughter, Jessica, was having a tonic/clonic seizure at night. At that time, David knew very little about seizures. But fortunately, he did know a thing or two about electronics, having designed the control systems for the tilting Advanced Passenger trains and many pressure control and measuring products.
David adapted a sensor that he read about in Practical Wireless to detect bed movement and added a small microcomputer to determine if the pattern was normal bed movement so as not to create a false alarm. This created a basic assistive technology that Jessica used until 2010 when David gave her an up-to-date version of the Companion in a moment which was captured on Midlands Today TV. Jessica’s mum claims that the version created by David saved Jessica’s life on several occasions.
While David cannot claim to be the inventor of this type of assistive technology to support people in Jessica’s situation, David did set about designing a failsafe radio technology with a long-range and lower transmission times.
Our efforts continued to supply effective and affordable assistive technology and were amply rewarded in 2003. For example, support from the Muir Maxwell Foundation came about due to our technology helping Muir’s family when it alerted Muir’s parents when they were needed.
The Muir Maxwell Trust was founded to aid the research and support for those who have seizures to ensure peace of mind for many families coping with seizures.
As we approached the year 2000, our bed movement systems were supplemented with imported incontinence detectors to cover urine release and excessive salivation and vomiting. In addition, the Guardian was a joint venture with the medical device company that supplied a breathing monitor. They incorporated all the protection methods combined in the Companion and their patented sensor to detect shallow movements. When these shallow movements are absent, it alerts that someone needs support.
Then, the final piece in our jigsaw was a failsafe radio system with a pager capable of managing multiple monitors to give care homes a suitable alarm and screens that could be programmed with the user’s name whose alarm has been activated.
With our expanded product offering, we started renting a small factory, where our small dedicated team began to form, with Joe adding to our engineering capability.
After David sadly passed away in 2017, the company continued to further its legacy. Alert-iT became a mature SME with several employees under the ownership of David’s wife. In May 2019, we moved to larger premises in Coalville Business Park, where we are proud to be a hub for our international distributors.
Today we are no longer owned by the Godfrey family, as in 2021, we were proud to become part of the Picomed group. Still, David’s words live on ‘The greatest pride I can have is in my team of the dedicated and caring staff at Alert-iT who seek to build on that success and provide Plesiocare assistive technology of the highest standard to support carers.’
If you would like more information regarding any of our assisted technology and Alert-iT’s distributor network, call us on +44 1530 239900