Other People's Words

Interview with Lou Giuffre of LifePROTEKT

Posted in Uncategorized by Tera on June 19, 2010

Here’s the Autism Women’s Network’s interview with Lou Giuffre of LifePROTEKT, which sells products to help find lost or missing persons.


Sharon daVanport: Greetings, everyone, and welcome to AWN radio. I am your host, Sharon daVanport, and today is Saturday, June 5, 2010. Joining me today is co-host Tricia Kenney, our Autism Women’s Network director of Missouri. How’s it going today, Trish?

Tricia Kenney: Pretty good. How are you?

Sharon daVanport: Pretty good. I’m just trying to get a few last minute things done with the kiddos before we went live. I’m just real excited about today’s show, because our guest, Lou Giuffre, he has just offered to do a fantastic giveaway. As we’ve been trying to explain to everyone, and advertise on Twitter and Facebook, it’s going to be a GPS location device and one year of service. I’m just really excited about this.

Tricia eKenney: This is an incredible opportunity. We all have heard the stories in the news of children who’ve wandered off and are missing. To get one of these devices for free is just gonna be a huge gift for some family. Are we gonna go ahead and bring Lou on now?

Sharon daVanport: Yeah, that’s fine; go ahead.

Tricia Kenney: Hi, Lou. Welcome to the show.

Lou Giuffre: Hey, Tricia, how are you? Hi, Sharon. How you doing?

Sharon daVanport: Pretty good, Lou. How are you today?

Lou Giuffre: Oh, I’m doing wonderful.

Sharon daVanport: Welcome to the show.

Lou Giuffre: Thanks for having us. Obviously, my reporters around LifePROTEKT are hopefully dialing in. Based on my hectic schedule, I tried to get as many people just to use the device, people that are out there just supporting the whole technology and what’s behind it. Hopefully, I can answer anybody’s questions or keep this as informative as possible and moving forward.

Sharon daVanport: Great.

Tricia Kenney: Tell us how you got involved with this.

Lou Giuffre: A little bit about my background is that I’ve been a veteran in the technology space for 25-30 years, doing everything from application development, web integration, infrastructure, networking, wireless technologies. [I’ve been] marrying the technology knowledge base that I’ve built up over the years into being inside a community of having two autistic nephews and [being] very involved in their lives. I married the technology to a personal situation. Over the past five years I’ve been involved in various backing technology, whether it be video frequencies or GPS or predicted behavior analysis solutions.

I saw a need about a year and a half ago to marry the technology with the personal situation of a wandering nephew. That’s the beginning of looking at the technologies. [I] had brought some products back from China, looked at GPS as a whole in terms of the viability of battery life and all the things we’ll talk about.

But I saw a major need for more and more people that were caregivers of loved ones that wander. We talked a little bit through our website and our blog about how many people over the last six months alone had gone off and there was no way of tracking them. It was more reactive to locating the individuals, as opposed to having some type of device or solution that would allow you to actually dial into the device. There’s so many different technologies that are a part of this that allow us to locate that individual very quickly.

Sharon daVanport: Can you tell us what the different devices are? I know on one of our networking sites—I believe it was Facebook—a mom said that it wasn’t one of your devices at LifePROTEKT, but she made a comment about how her son’s device had actually broken, and they’re not supposed to break. Can you talk a little bit about the durability and what your product offers?

Lou Giuffre: Sure. Let me tell you a little bit about LifePROTEKT. What we are is really a community-based site, and we’re dedicated to providing caregivers and individuals, as well as health care organizations and law enforcement agencies a place to go where they can see all the various products that are out there in this space: these location GPS products, these RF products.

We’re kind of like Consumer Reports, where you can actually go inside the community and look where all these products exist. There’s a comparison guide that’s getting more and more expansive as new technologies are coming in. The features of the technology that are out now are only getting greater. Battery life is expanding; more cell towers are going up for more coverage in particular areas. We go in and we talk a little bit about all the variations of the various products that we represent. What’s happening is we’re getting more manufacturers coming to us and saying: “Hey, we wanna be a part of the disabled community, where people are concerned about their wandering relatives or their loved ones.”

Sharon daVanport: Right. You provided us with a list, and I thought this was very telling. Tricia, do you have that list of all the children who are on the spectrum who just within the past six months have either lost their lives or potentially could have because of wandering or getting lost? Do you have that list, Tricia?

Tricia Kenney: Yeah, I do. It’s so sad, because it is a reminder of the stories that we’ve seen over the past year. It’s just heartbreaking, because some of these children could’ve been saved had they had a device like this. They could’ve been found and they’d still be with us today. The list is focusing on the kids, but there are a lot of adults also that were in that situation. Some of them were found and some of them didn’t make it. It’s such a wake-up call to families. Life isn’t guaranteed; there’s no guarantee about tomorrow, and it’s a scary world out there. You never know what could happen. Besides wandering, there’s also abduction. All kinds of things that could happen, and it’s just nice to know that there are companies like this out there that are actually affordable for families, so that they can help protect their children.

Sharon daVanport: I wanted to name off some of these names. A lot of our listeners will recognize some of them. On December 8 of 2009, James Delorey, he was seven years old from Nova Scotia. He actually lost his life. I believe he’s the one who succumbed to the elements. I think it was really cold out. December 11, 2009, Jeffrey Cooper, 14 in Boston.

Tricia Kenney: He’s a great example, because he’s been in the news several times for taking off. He takes off and he gets on the train in Boston, and they just don’t know where he is. Then several days later they’ll find him. Luckily, all these time they have been finding him safe and sound. Thank goodness for his parents and for him.

Sharon daVanport: I know someone who was just recently in the news was Nadia Bloom, 11 years old in Winter Springs, Florida. She was found, but, my goodness. Lou, you might be able to remind us here: How much time did she spend in that swamp area?

Lou Giuffre: It was four days, and it was absolutely one of the most tragic things. We had followed quite a few of these stories. One of the ones that most intrigued me was the 13-year-old boy—I don’t remember his name—back around November or December, where he was on the New York subway system for 11 days, an autistic child. That hit close to home. How is he surviving? How is he eating?

There were situations where no one really did anything. It opened our eyes a little bit to start keeping track of all the situations that were happening. This is just a small footprint of the names that I provided Trish with [of] how many people there actually really were. From a personal standpoint, because it so happened that Nadia actually went missing the day of my birthday, which was April 9 this past year, we followed it from the very beginning. We blogged it; we tweeted it; we went out there and just let the community know: “Hey, if anyone’s sees this little girl, by all means let’s get the word out.”

By the way, when we found out that Nadia had actually come back and they located her, thank God, the first thing we went out and did was we actually got in touch with the Bloom family indirectly, through their church and sent out a device, for no other reason than the recognition that this shouldn’t happen. I’ve been in touch and my company’s been in touch with Tanya Bloom, Nadia’s mom, quite a few times. We feel that just doing the right thing to as many families as we can that have a situation like this, and how tragic it can be on the family, is just the right thing.

Tricia Kenney: It was truly a miracle that she survived that. She was surrounded by alligators and snakes. It is just a miracle that she survived out there in that swamp. Thank God for her and her family that she’s okay. I imagine her mother was probably pretty relieved when she got that device.

Lou Giuffre: Oh, yeah. Like I said, we’ve been talking to Tanya quite often and have been in touch with her. There’s some great things that you can do with these devices. I talk a little bit more about the actual application. Not so much the software application; how the product applies to the individuals. Some autistic children won’t wear watches; some won’t leave the house without a hat on. We talk about all those various devices on our website.

In regards to the Bloom family, you couldn’t ask for nicer, sweeter people. We didn’t wanna intrude in their privacy. One thing that no one knew is that Tanya had just recently had a newborn when Nadia had actually gone missing. It was just so tragic for the family.

Sharon daVanport: I wanted to finish reading off this list that you provided us, Lou. I didn’t wanna leave any of these kids out. Did I mention Billy Snyder, 15 years old, on January 11. He was found. I guess he was from southwest Ocalla. March 6, Luke Selwyn, 6 years old from Sydney. He’s deceased. On March 16, sixteen-year-old Shelby Kraut from Jacksonville, Florida was found. April 6, Khaaliq Crowder, 14 years old in Elmont, Nassau County, found. Then April 7, Christian Dejons, 6 years old, Douglas County, deceased.

Then we mentioned Nadia on April 9. Then April 20, Cody Daniel Jones-Berrard, 13 years old, from Klamath County; he’s been found. Then that same day, Aiden Bell, from the Osark Mountains in Arkansas, he passed. I remember that story. We had it posted over on our website. His parents said that he was being assessed, or they had suspected that he was on the spectrum.

Then May 3, it was Noah Joel Notter, 9 years old, from Maryland. He was found. And then May 7, 14-year-old Yannick Atangana, North Hollywood, found. And that’s just a handful. That’s not even counting all the ones, really. But just that small list that you provided is just such a wake up call, to know that these children and adults with special needs, they can go wandering. They can get lost.

Lou Giuffre: I can’t emphasize enough that these are individuals on the spectrum. We didn’t even go into the missing children that are abducted. They technology that we provide for the disability community is…When we started this, we were actually involved because of my involvement. I’ll talk a little bit more about my community involvement in the various autism organizations. When we started this, we anticipated just looking at the autism and Alzheimer communities as a whole.

But what’s happening more and more each day is I’m getting more caregivers of people with brain trauma injuries, anything that’s a cognitive disorder where people wander off. It’s just expanding by the day.

Tricia Kenney: It doesn’t even need to be a special needs population. Any child can be abducted; any child can get lost, get disoriented about where they are or how to get home. Really, just for the safety of any family, having something like this could be a huge asset and really a lifesaver. Can you explain a little bit exactly how these devices work? How does the process happen? We call your company and we say: “I’d like to get a locator device for my child. How will it work? Do they wear it?”

Lou Giuffre: One of the great things about what we provide is, as I said before, we’re actually recommending the technology as a whole. Every device has one feature that’s different from the others. Some provide longer battery life.

Before I go into that, there’s something that I tell everyone from the get-go. This technology is just another tool in the arsenal in supporting [people with disabilities]. It does not by all means take the place of parental supervision and taking the necessary [precautions]: Locking the doors, [et cetera]. We go through a task list. But it’s really important that family members that are responsible for individuals who have this wandering issue..We take all things into consideration. There are disclaimers, and I spell those out on the website on each product that we represent. Again, we’re recommending the technology. We talk about the various products and what their differences are.

But to tell you a little bit about how this technology works. Most of these devices, there are two technologies built into the device. There’s what is called GPS, which is the global positioning systems that you find in your cars or what are called position navigation devices. There are so many different words that are out there to represent this category.

Then you have that technology married to the cellular technology, whether it be a GSM or GPRS network, which are the wireless networks that AT&T and T-Mobile and some other carriers around the globe represent. In the case of the products that we have, you’re either gonna be on a T-Mobile or an AT&T network in the States. If you’re outside the US, you have Rogers, which is another carrier in Canada. It depends on the location. We’re usually country-specific when it comes to where the technology’s gonna operate. That’s one of the things that we talk about.

The way that this technology works is really cool. The GPS technology works with the cellular technology, kinda marries itself so it actually triangulates to a point when you to ping the device or locate the device on a portal. Each one of these technologies has…there are different portals that are out there. If anyone is familiar with Google Earth or the other technologies that exist out there, you can actually pinpoint from within ten feet of where the location of the device is—to see it. And there’s so many parts on our website, and so many videos of how this stuff works. If anybody has any questions they can contact us and we’ll give that information over the phone.

We put out enough information as to GPS personal location technology 101 and explain it. I think people don’t understand the power of this stuff and how much stronger the signals are getting, because of the carriers saying: “Hey, you know what? This is an important technology.” There’s a new product coming out on the market within the next 30 days which has a 7-day battery life before charge. Are they waterproof? Some of them are. RPX7 designation, which means accidental inversion in one meter of water for 30 minutes. Do we recommend you go swimming with it? No. Some are durable. Some are made of military helmet-type material that when you drop it, you can step on it and nothing will happen.

Tricia Kenney: Some of them you can carry in your pocket; some of them you can have attached like a watch, or maybe wear on a chain around your neck like a necklace or something like that.

Lou Giuffre: Right. There’s three things when I start talking to people, and there’s so much information on our website when you’re doing some preliminary investigation on how the technology works. There are things that you can actually do that are called “wandering prevention.” You can actually set a geo sense or a perimeter. Once I leave that perimeter, it’ll send a signal—an SMS or whatever you want it to do. Obviously, every device is different. It’s hard to generalize, and that’s why we’re an information source. If you go to our site, you’ll understand what I mean by that. We hope that as many people as possible [look into it], just because it’s a really important proactive versus reactive solution. Does it work internationally?

I wanna stress the fact that all personal GPS and radio frequency technologies are not a standalone solution. These are just one of the tools in the toolbelt of caregiver safety that we use to protect our loved ones. Nothing can replace the importance of guidance, protection and due diligence from the parents and the caregivers. If you’re not gonna charge the battery, this thing does no good. If you’re gonna have your child swim with it at the beach, it’s not that type of device. It’s the same as you would use your cell phone in terms of charging and maintaining it. In a lot of ways, it’s very similar to that.

But the second thing, which is the most important thing of them all, is: How does this technology apply to the individual? Is it something you wear on your wrist? A hat? A backpack? Will it go in a child’s pocket? There are a couple of products that we represent that are actually locked devices, meaning you put it on your child and your child can’t take it off. When you said before, Sharon, about the woman whose child’s device broke, the individual she was putting the device on had it figured out and took it right off.

The device that we provided to Nadia Bloom was a device that she can’t take off. You need a special tool to put it on and take it off, and that’s the LOK8U device that we recommend on our site. What’s great about this technology is it applies to the wrist and the ankle. The best thing about it is this device attaches to the individual. If the device is cut off the individual, an alert goes out to the exact location of where that happened. You can immediately determine that something’s up, whether it be unlawful or accidental. There’s a lot of things that you take into consideration on this stuff. I could go through every feature, but it would take almost an hour.

Sharon daVanport: I was gonna take it to the phone lines, actually, and start taking some calls. After we take a couple calls, I want you to talk about the ICD-9 coding in insurance, and how you guys are working to get this covered in insurance, too, ’cause there’s some chatter over in the chat room right now about that. I want us to get back to that, but we’ve had a couple people over on the switchboard and I wanted to get to them since they’ve been on there for a while, and bring them on.

Cindy: Hi, there. I’m so excited; my name is Cindy. [My son] is a great kid; he’s fourteen; he’s on the spectrum. He’s starting to do this wandering off thing. He goes to school where they do provide a lot of extra staff and if he starts doing that and leaving the building, they can get him back in. But this is something we’re not used to and we really need something like this. He has this thing where all the sudden he just wants to wander. He has a lot of sensory issues that can set him off and make him leave.

Sharon daVanport: Has he always done this, Cindy, or is it just something that he started, or has he always been a little bit more prone to doing that and getting lost?

Cindy: He’s been prone to sensory issues, and this is one of the reasons why he goes to a special school. If something is too loud or something gets to him anxiety-wise, he would flee and hide somewhere in the building—that kind of thing. Now that he’s bigger and he is so intelligent (the kid reads at a college level), now he’s starting to do things like write the school a note: “I’m going home. I’m done for the day,” and he just left the building.

Sharon daVanport: Oh, my gosh. My son did that recently. My son is in high school; he’s 17 and he did that. He just showed up at the house. I’m like: “What are you doing, honey?” He’s like: “I left. I couldn’t take it anymore today.” [Laughter] Oh, my goodness. And then of course the school’s panicking and calling me. Oh, my goodness. I get that.

Cindy: If he gets the slightest fever, he’s almost delusional. They got me on the phone. They couldn’t get him out of traffic. They got me on the phone, and he wasn’t even sure it was me he was talking to. All it takes is something to upset him that maybe we don’t even know what it is. It could be from something days ago at school. Then all the sudden, he just wants to leave. He’s 160 pounds now. He’s not just a little kid anymore. It’s not like I can just pick him up, put him over my shoulder and carry him back in. If he leaves, that might be an issue and I do not wanna get the police involved.

Tricia Kenney: Right.

Sharon daVanport: Right. Oh, wow, Tricia, you know how that goes. You’ve had the police help look for your little guy who likes railroad tracks. Tricia, tell everyone about that.

Tricia Kenney: It’s just the most terrifying thing a parent can go through. He’s been doing this stuff since he was able to reach the doorknob, and even before then—when he could push something to the door to reach the doorknob. He gets out and when he was little, it was easier. I could just dart after him and always catch up to him right away.

But as he’s grown, it’s become almost impossible to keep up with him. He takes off, and some of the scarier things are that, yes, he’s attracted to the railroad tracks. He wants to go see the train. But when he was younger, he had no fear of the traffic. If there was a truck coming at him, he wouldn’t move out of the way. That’s the scary thing—he would not move out of traffic if there was something going on.

He would also go into cars if he was walking down the street, and he would check car doors to see if they were locked or open and get in the car. I would have to look around in all the cars in the neighborhood to see if he was in a car. During the summer, that’s really scary if the temperatures are up there. A child could die very quickly if you don’t find them.

But the last time when he was on the train tracks, it was almost two hours before they found him. I’m just freaking out. I had no idea if he was okay or if he was not okay. They found him almost five miles away from home on the train tracks, and he was okay. But it’s a terrifying thing for any parent to go through.

Sharon daVanport: Cindy, I’m gonna make sure we’ve got your number and we’re gonna put your name in for the prize. I appreciate you calling in to AWN radio.

Cindy: I’m just so happy to know this kind of thing even exists. Thank you.

Sharon daVanport: Did you have any questions for Lou?

Cindy: Lou, you were saying that there’s a way to put it around their ankle so they can’t take it off?

Lou Giuffre: Correct. Every product that we represent is different. As you know, and I know personally, every child is gonna be different. Like I said before, some children on the spectrum aren’t gonna wear a watch. In the case of one of my nephews, if you put a digital watch which is also a GPS device [on him] while he’s in school, he’s gonna be staring at the actual digital display every second that goes by. So that isn’t something that makes much sense.

But there’s ways of affixing another device to a shoelace. There’s a product called that we represent called Eye-Zon. What’s very interesting is that you determine how it actually fits on the body. As you go to our site, you’ll see a lot of the products that we’re representing and you can determine which best fits the situation. Every individual’s different, is what we’ve determined.

Cindy: Thank you for your time. Have a good day, everybody.

Lou Giuffre: Thank you.

Sharon daVanport: All right. Thank you for calling, Cindy. Bye-bye.

[Cindy hangs up.]

Tricia Kenney: She’s a friend of mine from Facebook, and we have discussed some of the issues that we face with that. I’m glad she called in. A lot of people are asking about the affordability of these types of devices.

Sharon daVanport: The ICD-9 coding; can you talk a little bit about that, and getting insurance companies to recognize this?

Lou Giuffre: Sure. It’s not just me. There was a conference on April 30, which was something that I sat through for four hours, and it was about the external causes of death among children and adults with autism. It was actually an Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee meeting that took place in D.C., and I think the National Institute of Health secretary had participated. Just based on all the things that are happening with wandering, it was just a significant part of this entire four-hour hearing.

It was very interesting because it addressed so many different issues. One of the issues it addressed was a subclassification ICD-9 code for autism elopement, which would help provide insurance coverage for these safety devices. As these things continue happening, it evidently raises the level of how serious this is in the community, and the purpose of this was to open up a dialogue between physicians and caregivers and obviously health care insurance organizations that would cover this stuff, similar to the way you would actually a glucometer if you were diabetic. It would just allow a doctor to prescribe coverage for a device for a wandering individual.

Sharon daVanport: Wouldn’t that be awesome?

Tricia Kenney: That would be absolutely incredible.

Lou Giuffre: If we get this ICD-9 certification or subclassification ICD-9 code, I just think it helps the affordability. Let me also say, there are a couple of things that are driving the costs down. When I first came into this space, I started looking at the various products that were around the globe to see where this industry is going. With my experience, I determined that the batteries are getting better, the cellular technology’s only getting greater. Some of the devices, you actually push an SOS button if the individual is in any type of danger. Danger for an autistic child, as we all know, could be something like: “Mom, I’m coming home,” as Cindy just said, and not even telling her.

So it all depends. This technology is so wonderful because of the new features that come in. I’m testing [something] right now which is a device that is also a cell phone. So on top of being a GPS and a watch, it also actually allows you to call pre-programmed phone numbers so you can get emergency numbers where you program your cell phone number or your house number, you teacher’s number, the police, whatever you wanna do. I think that is an incredible thing. In the technology field, we actually sell some of those products on our site, or recommend them, at least. It’s an interesting space to be in, because the features of this technology are only getting greater.

Sharon daVanport: Right.

Tricia Kenney: Right. And it doesn’t even have to always be an emergency situation. Let’s say that your child does have issues with leaving school. Throughout your day, you can just call this device to find out where they are, [to see] if they’re still at school or if they’re not. Just check up on them. So it’s nice to have that ability.

Lou Giuffre: Right. The costs of this technology, there are some devices that you can get for less than 65 cents a day, which I think is incredible, if you marry it to the fact that something is as serious as someone wandering. The devices range from anywhere from $99 to $279, and then you have what is called a carrier or a location-based software application that you have to buy, which ranges anywhere from $10 a month to $19.99 a month. That is a monthly subscription, similar to the way that you would sign on with your cell phone. So there is an additional cost.

Tricia Kenney: It’s far more affordable than I would have assumed. I figured you’re looking at thousands of dollars for some of these devices to help with keeping your kids safe, so I was really shocked at how low the actual cost was.

Lou Giuffre: It’s very affordable, and with the ICD-9 coverage, if that comes into play…What’s happening right now which is driving the cost down is these devices are becoming more and ore prominent in Europe. We’re kind of following the lead with testing in the UK.

Something we didn’t really talk about is the significance in the Alzheimer community. The numbers are staggering of the percentage of people that have Alzheimer’s that actually wander off. We’re starting to see law enforcement and health care organizations here even in this country starting to adapt this technology. We have police enforcement user groups that are supporting us; we have specific police departments throughout the country that are putting their arms around it. The same thing in Canada.

We’re working in conjunction with an organization called Eye-Zon up in Ontario, and we have someone on our staff that’s actually a former New York City police sergeant and he was part of the EMS (emergency management services) task force during 9/11 and during the World Trade Center bombings, and is very familiar with this technology. He’s helping us stand side to side with the [unknown] endorsement standpoint. Take more calls—sorry.

Sharon daVanport: I wanted to get to the phone lines, but I also wanted to remind everyone that there’s actually two different ways that you can become eligible for the giveaway that Lou’s doing with the GPS device and the one-year of service. You can either call in to the show and share your story with Lou, or you can e-mail us and we’ll forward that information on to Lou. Just e-mail us at info AT autismwomensnetwork DOT org. Also, too, I wanted to mention that we’ll be keeping the contest open for a couple weeks, to give everybody a chance to contact us. We were contacted by a lot of people saying they absolutely could not make the show today, since it was on such short notice. For all of our listeners out there who’ll be listening later to our podcast, just remember that you can still e-mail us, too.

Barbara Mastriani: Hi, my name is Barbara Mastriani. I have a six-year-old son who is autistic and a runner.

Sharon daVanport: Thank you for calling in, Barbara. Your son’s six, you said?

Barbara Mastriani: Yes, he’s six, and he’s a little Houdini. He can get out of anything that you put up for him, whether it be locks on the doors, alarm systems. He has still been able to get out of the house and he’s run down to the end of the street. Thank God my daughter was there to catch him at the end of the street and bring him home. But had she not been, we could’ve had some problems. I am a 9-11 dispatcher for police and fire and rescue, and we have these types of calls pretty much on a daily basis.

Tricia Kenney: Wow.

Sharon daVanport: Do you really? Every day, then.

Barbara Mastriani: Pretty much. We have Alzheimer’s patients that get lost or wander away from their caregiver; autistic children that come from the residential homes that wander off and become lost, plus the resources that you have to use for that, whether it be police or fire rescue. It’s just crazy.

Tricia Kenney: The response time, it can be pretty scary.

Barbara Mastriani: It can be scary. Thank God most of the people that we come in contact with are found. But it’s just a really, really scary thing for a parent.

Tricia Kenney: Yeah, definitely.

Sharon daVanport: Right.

Tricia Kenney: We’ll add you in on the list of people to try and win this device.

Sharon daVanport: Absolutely, Barbara, we will. Got your name down already, and your phone number.

Barbara Mastriani: That’s great

Sharon daVanport: Any questions for Lou?

Barbara Mastriani: I just think the technology is awesome. If people could afford these devices for their children…there’s a lot of low-income people out there that would I’m sure benefit from the technology.

Tricia Kenney: Exactly.

Sharon daVanport: Right.

Lou Giuffre: Well, thanks for calling in, Barbara.

Sharon daVanport: Yeah. Thank you very much.

Barbara Mastriani: You’re welcome. I commend you for everything you’re doing.

Lou Giuffre: Thank you.

[Barbara hangs up].

Tricia Kenney: Lou, somebody’s asking in the chat room: To use this device, would you need a smartphone?

Lou Giuffre: That’s a really good question. Again, it all depends on which particular device we’re going with. It can work with a smartphone. Let me go through the process really quick, because I didn’t do a very good job on that. Basically what happens is, once the device is set up—you put it on the individual—you actually log into a portal which you set up the configuration, which is very simple. It would be like putting your name in; you can download a picture so that when you look on the portal you can actually see the individual that you’re looking to locate.

It’ll be designated where you’re putting in the way you would register a SIM card that goes in your cell phone. In the case of T-Mobile and AT&T users, you would put in the identification number, and that immediately connects the device to the network. It’s as simple as tracking that device through that SIM card. It allows you to go on to a web-based application, which comes with any device that we sell. You’re going to ping the device, and you can do with with your smartphone; you can have an SMS or a message alert sent to your phone, which doesn’t have to be a smartphone. You can actually go on to the portal and look at that device.

We recommend taking a look at each of the products and if anyone has any questions, there’s information as as way to get to it on LifePROTEKT’s website, as well as an 800 number that you can reach. We’re here to help. If it means we’re saving one life, it’s just one of the reasons that we’ve come together with this technology.

Tricia Kenney: I also have another question, though. Let’s say that your child takes off and you don’t know what the details are—they’re just gone. You wanna bring in police to assist you in this, so you call 9-11. Can they also track the GPS signal, or do you have to give them the information?

Lou Giuffre: Absolutely. There are organizations out there that LifePROTEKT are endorsing. We believe that Project Lifesaver, if you have it in your community, is a wonderful organization. There are gonna be situations where it’s not in your community, and we wanna be an adjunct if you’re not in a community that has a Project Lifesaver solution. You’re not gonna not do anything; you can actually have our device and have the individual tracked.

The greatest thing about what our devices do is you’re actually going to locate the exact pinpoint of the location. Instead of calling 9-11 and saying: “My child has left; I don’t know if was an hour ago or ten minutes ago. Please send out an emergency vehicle,” [you can say:] “Here is the exact pinpoint of the location within 10 to 30 feet, depending on which device it is. It might be an unlawful situation or an accidental situation. He’s autistic; they have Alzheimer’s.”

Whatever the situation may be, we’re giving the exact coordinates of where the location of that individual is, versus: “Please send out a search and rescue squad” and hopefully we can find them within the one-mile designation before we have to call in helicopter support and an entire search and rescue team. In Nadia Bloom’s case, it was 30 or 40 search and rescue people. It’s just the difference between night and day.

But we always endorse the fact that you need to get law enforcement involved. There’s gonna be situations where a child is gonna go missing and he might be in a rural area where he’s sitting in a barn somewhere. You can get shot if you go on somebody’s property. That’s why you always wanna call law enforcement into the process.

Sharon daVanport: We’ve only got ten minutes left, so I wanna get to at least one more call. Since we’re gonna be doing this over the next couple weeks, we’ll remind everyone at the end of the show how they can still be eligible. I’ve already spoken to a couple people who’ve sent me private messages over in the chat room, saying that they will be e-mailing their story in. One person’s even from Canada, and she wants to see what is available there, as well.

Aylen: Hi, Trish; my name is Aylen. I’m calling from Long Island, New York. Hi, Lou.

Lou Giuffre: Hi. How are you?

Aylen: Good, hon. Lou’s reached out to me a while back to help him raise public awareness about this problem. I work at the church, [unkown] Chapel, and we send out e-mail worldwide. I’ve gotten quite a few responses. My nephew’s also autistic; he wears the ankle device. He wandered off several days ago, and we found him within minutes.

As Lou said earlier, this is not just a device for people that are mentally impaired or autistic. This could be for a small child. There are so many abductions these days. Even if you have to pay for this out of pocket, the price is so reasonable. You can’t put a pricetag on a child’s life. You understand what I’m saying? I’m just so proud of him for bringing this to everybody’s attention. He’s such a good-hearted man and very caring, and does do a lot of work within this community. I’ve known him for quite some time and I just think this product is just so wonderful.

I know six devices already were bought within my church itself. I get phone calls worldwide from pastors thanking me for the information, and I do pass it on at least once a week in the newsletter. I’ve gotten a lot of parents calling me asking about the device, and the people that do have it, I told them: “If you’re really satisfied with the product, write to Lou. Write a testimonial for his site. Let these people know. Just spread the word.” This is a very serious subject, it’s worldwide. And it’s about time that somebody finally came up with a product that can save lives, within minutes. It really is just a wonderful, wonderful thing that he’s doing. I’m proud of you, Lou.

Lou Giuffre: Thank you. I appreciate the call.

Aylen: You can tell I’m behind you a thousand percent.

Lou Giuffre: Thank you. Thank you very much.

Aylen: You’re very welcome.

[Aylen hangs up].

Sharon daVanport: Thank you so much for calling in. I just wanna remind our listeners that, like Lou said earlier, the device is for all kinds of people with special needs. I really appreciated a statistic that you sent over to us in an e-mail when you were talking about Alzheimer’s: there are 5.3 million people just in the USA diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, and that number looks like it’s gonna be tripled by the year 2050. To go on, you put in your e-mail that over 60 percent of these people will wander and become lost. That’s huge. That is just huge.

I really want you to keep us updated on this coding for insurance. Like the caller just said, for a device that saves lives, you can’t put a pricetag on it. But anyone who’s living paycheck to paycheck will tell you, sometimes it’s a matter between feeding their family and buying something extra, too. So just to think that insurance companies could cover this for families, that would be so huge.

Tricia Kenney: It would. It would be a huge help for families, because so many families have nowhere to turn for this.

Lou Giuffre: I will say the devices are coming down in price, just because it is such a needed solution out there. It’s the same technology that you would have in a Garmin device that was just an automobile mapping system or what I call a personal navigation device, whether it be Garmin or Magellan or TomTom. Two years ago, the same technology that cost $200, you can actually go into Costco or any other retailer and [buy it] for $40-50 if you get it on sale. I just think you’ll start seeing a real increase in demand for this technology and a decrease in price as the carriers realize that AT&T and T-Mobile are gonna drop the price for services on this stuff.

Tricia Kenney: Do you have to have a cellphone to make this work? What if you have a regular home phone and internet?

Lou Giuffre: Again, I’m gonna direct everyone to the two locations where you can find all the questions and answers. We’ve pretty much covered a lot of stuff on our Q and As, and if anybody has anything, you can always e-mail us at support AT lifeprotekt.com If anybody has any questions whatsoever, they can pick up the phone. We have a 1-800 number.

Tricia Kenney: This isn’t 100 percent guarantee that it will work to find your child. As Lou pointed out, it’s part of a protection plan that you can have for your child. There are some instances where it might not work in your area, or there might be interference or things like that going on. But definitely check it out. It might be worth it for you.

Michdelle: Yeah, hi. This is Michelle.

Sharon daVanport: So you have a child on the spectrum?

Michelle: I have one on the spectrum. The other tested positive for Asperger’s Syndrome and I’m in the process of diagnosis myself. We don’t really do a lot of private insurance up here in Canada, unless you’re really, really lucky. Otherwise we have the public health system, and trying to petition through community services and all that for a lot of this stuff is not [easy?] I was just wondering if anybody’s gonna start trying to petition the government.

Sharon daVanport: In Canada, you mean?

Michelle: In Canada or the US. There’s a lot of people that aren’t on welfare and it’s not very easy to fund lots of this stuff.

Lou Giuffre: Michelle, I can tell you that we work with an organization based in Ontario that is doing everything they can possibly do. It’s actually doing an incredible job within the autism community. If you give us a call, I’ll hook you up with the people up there that are working very similar to funding the way Project Lifesaver’s going out here in the US. I think they’re up there as well. By all means, give us a call and I’ll hook you up with the people up there that might be able to help in your situation.

Sharon daVanport: Oh, that’s great.

Tricia Kenney: Wonderful.

Michelle: We just lost a little boy up here just before Christmas.

Sharon daVanport: Michelle, thanks for calling in really quick. Send us that e-mail, too, and tell us your story so we can send it in for the drawing, okay? Thanks, Michelle.

[Michelle hangs up].

All right. Well, Lou, this hour went by so fast. There’s just so much information, so I’m glad you’ll be coming back for a few minutes at the beginning of our show in a couple weeks when we’re gonna have you announce the winner of the contest. Again, I wanna remind everyone that we’re gonna still be taking your stories via e-mail. That is at info AT autimswomensnetwork DOT org. Lou, did you wanna give out your contact information?

Lou Giuffre: Yeah. Please go to www.lifeprotekt.com Looking forward to hearing from you guys. Any questions? There’s no stupid question here. It’s a technology that really works.

I just wanna make mention that there are individuals out there that we try to endorse as frequently as possible, whether it be in the social media community. Dennis Debbaudt’s of Autism Risk and Safety Management; Chris Lacey of Autism ALERT, Laurie [unknown] at the Montgomery County Police Department, and then our own Pete [diCarillo?] for all the service that he’s done in the law enforcement community. These individuals are recognized for the work they’ve done and I appreciate your time, guys.

[Lou Giueffre hangs up].

Sharon daVanport: Okay. That’s it for AWN radio. We’ll be back next week on Thursday, June 10 with John Elder Robison, New York Times bestselling author. Thanks, everyone. Bye.

Tricia Kenney: Thanks, everyone. Bye-bye.



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  1. […] Kenney: Essentially, we had a gentleman on the show named Lou Giuffre, and he has a company called LifePROTEKT. They help find instruments that are GPS locators, and […]

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