Updated February 2017.
A lot of people want a medical alert device with automatic fall detection, and they want it to be small enough to wear on their wrist like an old-fashioned medical alarm with a lightweight wrist-worn button.
As of this writing, this doesn’t exist.
It looks like some might be coming on the market soon, though. A company called 112Motion appears to have a wristwatch-style fall alert bracelet, but it’s not actually for sale.
Another company (e-Domotica) has a fall detection bracelet available in Europe. In England a company called Tynetec has a fall detection button you wear on your wrist, but honestly it’s pretty ugly, so I’m not sure anyone would actually wear it.
Right now in 2017 your best bet for a bracelet style system is the Lively Wearable from GreatCall. It doesn’t have fall detection when you wear it on your wrist, but it does have other great features. If you need fall detection, you have to wear it as a pendant around your neck.
About Fall Detections Systems:
Fall detection systems work with a panic button that’s about the size of an egg (but flatter). For an illustration, see this image from Medical Guardian:
I suspect there are two reasons that the emergency fall alert pendants are still so large.
First, it’s more expensive to make sophisticated electronics tiny. By doing it in this form factor, the companies can use commonly available components and save manufacturing costs while possibly increasing reliability.
Second, an always-on automatic fall detection system requires power. This means you’ve got to have a good battery in the system, which take space.
Third, (bonus), is that there’s probably something about the detection algorithms that has an impact. Think about how much your wrist moves around during the day as opposed to your belly. A pendant hanging around your neck will be very stable except for situations where you are falling. The device can learn how fast you move when you are walking in your house, settling into your favorite chair, etc. It can then detect sudden acceleration and deceleration that’s out of this pattern. With a wrist unit, there’s a lot more “noise” in the system.