Understanding GPS Technology: Why Indoor Use Affects Your MedAlert Watch

Understanding GPS Tracking on Your MedAlert Watch

The GPS tracking feature of the MedAlert Watch is set to standby mode by default. This means that the GPS location updates only upon request and is not tracking in real-time. If you notice that the location shown in the app seems outdated or far from the watch's actual location, it may be displaying an old location, and you'll need to update it.

Troubleshooting Steps for GPS Inaccuracy:

  1. Disable LBS: On the home page of the app, tap on "Location Based Services (LBS)" and ensure that it is disabled.

  2. Access the Map: Navigate to the map section of the app, found in a menu item at the bottom labelled 'Map' or 'Locate'.

  3. Request GPS Update: At the bottom of the map page, tap the green GPS pin icon. This action sends a message to the watch, prompting it to turn on its GPS and update its location.

  4. Check for Location Update:

    • After waiting for about a minute, check if the watch’s location has updated to the current location.
    • If there's no movement, it could indicate that the watch is in a location (like indoors) where obtaining a GPS signal is challenging.
    • If the location updates but is still 10-20 meters off, this represents the best possible triangulation under the current conditions. Remember, being indoors can significantly impact GPS accuracy.

Understanding GPS Limitations Indoors:

Inaccuracies in GPS tracking when indoors are not a flaw of the MedAlert Watch but rather a limitation of GPS technology as a whole. This is a common issue for any GPS-enabled device. To better understand how GPS technology works and why it may be less accurate indoors, please read the following article:


Introduction: Navigating the World of GPS

GPS, or Global Positioning System, is a remarkable technology that has revolutionized the way we navigate and track locations. It's the technology behind the effective functioning of devices like your MedAlert Watch. However, understanding how GPS works, especially in different environments like indoors, can be crucial in setting the right expectations. This article aims to simplify these concepts for our users, particularly those aged 60 to 90 years, to help understand the nature of GPS technology.

How Does GPS Work?

GPS technology relies on a network of satellites orbiting the Earth. These satellites transmit signals to GPS receivers, like the one in your MedAlert Watch. By calculating the time it takes for these signals to reach the receiver, the GPS device can determine your exact location on Earth.

The Challenge with Indoor Environments

While GPS is exceptionally accurate in outdoor settings, its functionality is inherently limited indoors. Here’s why:

  1. Line of Sight to Satellites: For GPS to work effectively, it needs a clear ‘line of sight’ to multiple satellites in the sky. Indoors, walls, roofs, and other physical structures can block or weaken these satellite signals.

  2. Signal Reflection: Inside buildings, GPS signals can reflect off surfaces like walls, floors, and ceilings. This reflection can distort the timing of the signal reaching the receiver, leading to inaccurate location readings.

  3. Signal Attenuation: Building materials, especially metal and concrete, can weaken (attenuate) the GPS signals. Weaker signals mean less accuracy in pinpointing your exact location.

Why Does This Matter for Your MedAlert Watch?

Understanding these limitations is essential because it sets realistic expectations for the performance of your MedAlert Watch indoors. While the watch is a powerful tool for safety and peace of mind, its GPS functionality might be less precise in indoor environments.

What Can You Expect?

  1. Outdoor Precision: When you’re outdoors, your MedAlert Watch should function with high precision, giving you and your loved ones accurate location information.

  2. Indoor Approximations: Indoors, expect the GPS to provide a general idea of your location, rather than pinpoint accuracy. This information can still be invaluable in emergencies, guiding responders to your approximate location.

  3. Alternative Features: Your MedAlert Watch also has other features like fall detection and SOS alerts which function independently of GPS, offering additional layers of safety.

Our Commitment

At MedAlert, we are committed to providing technology that enhances the safety and independence of our users. Understanding the capabilities and limitations of this technology is part of our commitment to you.

Conclusion: Embracing Technology with Understanding

GPS technology, though not perfect indoors, is still a critical feature in your MedAlert Watch, helping to keep you safe and connected. By understanding how it operates, you can use your device more effectively and with the right expectations. Remember, your MedAlert Watch is more than just a GPS device; it’s a comprehensive safety tool designed with your well-being in mind.

If you have further questions or need assistance, our support team is always here to help. Stay safe, stay informed, and make the most of your MedAlert Watch.

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