LoRaWAN: Technology for the Not-So-Tech Savvy

By April 19, 2021 No Comments

CareBand is setting a new precedent for using technology to keep older adults safe and independent. CareBand uses a unique combination of communication technologies and machine learning to promote successful aging-in-place for older adults. 

The Problem

The Customer’s Problem

As the population of older adults continues to grow, there is an urgent need for healthcare providers to provide continuous and individualized care either at home or within a facility. Older adults are at high risk for chronic conditions and emergency situations which call for continuous monitoring or caretaking. 

However, frequent visits or stays in the hospital takes a heavy toll on both the healthcare system and the physical/emotional health of patients. Because of the increases in the aging population and associated healthcare costs, the promotion of adults  “aging in place” is growing in popularity. “Aging in place” allows for older adults to remain in their homes, and in their communities, while being remotely monitored. 

The problem still remains – 27% of older adults live alone even though they may often require around the clock assistance (Pew Research Center, 2018). Even for older adults who do not live alone, 24/7 caregiving is a heavy burden to bear. (rephrase)

The development of health technologies enable older adults to receive preventive and diagnostic healthcare services, provide a platform to educate consumers, alleviate the workload on medical professionals, and act as mobile health equipment for remote areas. Advanced monitoring systems allow for the recognition of behaviors and activity patterns that show the presence or progression of disease. 

Health technologies alongside preventative measures to promote healthy aging-in-place is the future of health and safety for older adults. 

The Technology’s Problem

Traditional monitoring technology designed for older adults utilizes Bluetooth, Wi-Fi or cellular communication technologies which are becoming increasingly challenging for older adults purposes. 

Bluetooth devices are everywhere from smart watches to headphones, but they are challenging for older adults to use and require pairing two devices before they can be used. Traditional cellular devices are often subject to high certification costs, high power consumption, and high ongoing costs. Wi-Fi is insufficient because it has a limited area of service, limited range within those areas, and is mainly only operable indoors. 

For older adults with Alzheimer’s and dementia related diseases (ADRD) who are at risk of wandering, monitoring technology needs to be able to operate indoors AND outdoors. 

Also, in order to best support aging-in-place, technology should be as accessible as possible.  Wi-Fi is not always available in senior living communities or in individual homes of aging adults. It is even less available for rural and remote communities even though the need for it still remains. 

So far, we have identified two major problem areas – the growing population of older adults is not being properly supported for successful aging-in-place and the technology created for them is flawed. 

So how do we cut cellular costs, extend the reach of Wi-Fi, and best serve all older adults regardless of location? 

The Solution


LoRaWAN (long range wide area network) is the singular technology that is the solution to all of these problems. 

Devices operating within a LoRaWAN network are able to communicate within a 5-10 mile radius. Additionally, LoRa networks can work with thousands of devices connected through a single gateway.

A LoRaWAN network can send small packets of data over extremely long distances with low power. For example, LoRaWAN can serve as a single communication technology for indoor and outdoor location tracking. With LoRaWAN, a wearable tracking device can communicate to anchored beacons or routers within the network to provide real-time location information. 

Compared to traditional monitoring technology designed for older adults, LoRaWAN is a far better technology and represents a much more dependable and accessible way to track the whereabouts of older adults who may be at risk of wandering. 

By using LoRaWAN, we also eliminate the high subscription costs associated with cellular networks, the limited range associated with Wi-Fi, and the geographic limitations for users in remote locations. 

The Best Fit

There is a clear need for health monitoring technologies to care for the growing population of older adults, especially those living in their own homes with the help of geriatric home care service. 

CareBand offers a solution to this need through their iterative, development of end-to-end wearable technology and near real-time data platform designed specifically for people living with dementia. CareBand provides near real-time indoor and outdoor precise location, movement, and activity data. The CareBand technology includes an unobtrusive, wearable design, an infrastructure of small beacons and one gateway per facility, and a feature of secure data transfer to a HIPAA-compliant cloud. 

LPWAN technology is the backbone for CareBand, allowing it to operate passively, 24/7, and without the need for Wi-Fi or traditional cellular technology to send data. The use of LoRa allows for CareBand technology to provide a cost-effective and secure method for data transmission. 

Within different communities, CareBand can: 

  • Senior Living
    • View a resident’s indoor location down to the room level
    • Monitor a resident’s outdoor location up to a mile away
    • Option for nurse call/panic button 
    • Customized notifications/alerts for facility staff
    • Detection of early changes in condition
    • Activity monitoring in and out of therapy/rehabilitation
  • At-home
    • View if a senior is outside of the home or inside the home and in which room, if at home (precise location)
    • Customized alerts for caregivers 
    • Detection of early changes in condition
    • Activity monitoring following post-acute or acute discharge (adherence to activity schedule) 
    • Provide access for remote, rural, and Indigenous populations whose communities are incompatible with Wi-Fi and cellular-based technologies
  • Motion tracking
    • Fall risk assessment
    • Quantifying activity levels
    • Studying behavior patterns
    • Around-the-clock monitoring of older adults


As health related technologies gain more importance in the healthcare industry, and more valuable for the older adult population, we need to make sure they are both accessible and acceptable for users. 

Particularly for the monitoring and location and movement tracking of older adults, LoRa is the best technology and CareBand makes the best use of LoRa in this application. 

But don’t just take our word for it – check out the CareBand website to learn more about our cutting-edge solutions, ongoing research, and commitment to keeping older adults safe. 

Erica Sanchez

Erica Sanchez

Research Manager at CareBand