Why a Panic Button Is Not Enough: Five Cases When You Need Inactivity Monitoring if You Live Alone

AllsWell Team


  1. How Do SOS Apps with a Panic Button Work?
  2. Key Difference Between SOS Apps and Inactivity Monitoring Apps for Living Alone
  3. Five Cases when SOS Apps Aren’t Enough, and You Need Inactivity Monitoring
  4. Why AllsWell Is One of the Top Apps for Personal Safety 


Living alone is great, isn’t it? You don't have to put up with someone’s quirks and can spend free time the way you like it. Over 36 million US citizens live on their own. Yet apart from the benefits, all of them face similar problems. When something happens, no one is around to help. And, unfortunately, bad things do happen.

In the US, every 40 seconds, someone has a heart attack. Every 36 seconds, one person dies from cardiovascular disease. While health issues mainly threaten seniors living alone, the youth is also at risk because of other dangers. There are 2,209 thousand property crimes per 100,000 US citizens, 378 burglaries, and 383 violent crimes.

In many of these situations, timely help could save lives. That’s why people living alone often use SOS apps. These applications have a panic button that allows sending emergency alerts to a family member or emergency services in a click. But what to do if pressing an SOS button is impossible? When you faint, cannot move or don’t have your phone around, you won’t be able to call 911.

Then, inactivity monitoring apps for personal safety come into play. An average person touches their smartphone 2,617 times per day. By monitoring the periods when you don’t touch or handle your smartphone, the app can monitor your ‘inactivity’ period to alert your emergency contact when you remain inactive for too long.

Want to know when inactivity monitoring is better than panic buttons? Discover five common cases below.

How Do SOS Apps with a Panic Button Work?

After installation, SOS apps display an emergency button on the screen of cell phones, tablets, or wearables (e.g., Apple Watch). The device owner can quickly hit the panic button to call emergency services in real-time. Users can also set SOS applications to send text messages to emergency contacts. Since most of the SOS apps have GPS tracking, the alerts indicate the exact location of the sender. The only limitation is that many SOS apps for living alone require an Internet connection.

SOS apps with more advanced functionality have audio and video recording. As soon as the user hits the panic button, the device starts recording everything that happens around. Later on, the person can share the evidence with the police.

Key Difference Between SOS Apps and Inactivity Monitoring Apps for Living Alone

SOS apps are effective in situations when users can click the panic button. They allow quickly taking action and getting in touch with emergencies or friends and family. Inactivity monitoring functionality serves a different purpose. It enables app owners to automatically notify emergency contacts when they don’t interact with their phones for too long. The person sets up their typical duration of inactivity – usually, it’s 2 or 3 hours within their wake time – to set the timing for monitoring. Hence, when the tracked user remains inactive longer than the specified time, the application sends emergency alerts.

Five Cases when SOS Apps Aren’t Enough, and You Need Inactivity Monitoring

If you consider apps for personal safety, ideally, you should install a solution that has both a panic button and inactivity monitoring. You will need the functionality of inactivity monitoring rather than a panic button only in the following cases:

#1. Inactivity Monitoring Apps for Personal Safety Are Better when the Phone is Not Around

Even though a person spends 234 minutes on smartphones every day, the devices aren’t always at hand. You can take a shower, leave your device in another room, or forget when you’ve put it in an emergency. As a result, in case of a personal emergency, you won’t be able to use the panic button.

In this case, inactivity monitoring is the only way to inform someone that you need help. An application will detect that you have ignored the device for too long and notify your emergency contact about possible problems.

#2. Inactivity Monitoring Apps for Personal Safety Help when the User Fell Unconscious

Certain health conditions or factors, like dehydration or blood pressure drugs, may cause a loss of consciousness. If this happens, the red panic button--as the primary function of many apps for living alone--won’t work for an apparent reason.

On the other hand, if you have inactivity monitoring applications, the chance to get help is much higher. When the application detects that no one uses the device, your friends and family or whoever you choose will know about this.

#3. Inactivity Monitoring Safety Apps Work when a Physical Condition Prevents the User from Reaching the Phone

Poor cardiac functioning, cognitive impairments, or even severe depression may prevent users from getting up and clicking the SOS button in dangerous situations. Some immobility cases are difficult to predict, and the affected person may not have a phone around.

Hence, if you or your loved one is at risk of developing immobility, it’s better to use inactivity monitoring apps for personal safety.

#4. Inactivity Monitoring Apps for Personal Safety Send Alerts when the User Is Held Hostage

When someone has kidnapped you or broken into the house and holding you hostage, an inactivity monitoring app may be the fastest way to ask for help. The solution will notify emergency contacts that you have disappeared and don’t use your phone.

In such cases, panic button SOS apps are useless. You won’t be able to take out your phone and initiate a phone call.

#5. Inactivity Monitoring Apps Are Better for Seniors

If your parent lives alone and you want to be sure they are safe, inactivity monitoring is more effective than panic buttons. First of all, anything can happen. Seniors are particularly vulnerable to acute health issues and may be physically unable to click the panic button. Secondly, it may be hard to convince an older adult to use panic button SOS apps, whereas inactivity monitoring works automatically. If your loved one completes any action on their phone at least once a day, this will be enough to start using inactivity tracking.

In general, immobility monitoring is an excellent addition to standard SOS button apps for living alone. These features aren’t mutually exclusive and can save lives in different situations.

Why AllsWell Is One of the Top Apps for Personal Safety 


AllsWell Alert is a personal safety & emergency alert app for people living, commuting, or traveling alone. It combines the panic button functionality with inactivity monitoring, enabling the app to send your emergency contact an alert with your location even when you’re unable to press a button.

AllsWell Alert is a perfect option if you want to get real-time panic alerts and inactivity tracking in one solution. It provides broad customization capabilities allowing users to set up timing and emergency contacts.

Unlike other apps for personal safety, AllsWell Alert works 24/7 and is very affordable. For only $9.99/month, you will enjoy full access to its functionality. The application allows you to increase personal safety in emergencies and care about your loved ones every day, even being far away. 

Would you like to travel, commute or stay at home alone with peace of mind? Click here to get AllsWell Alert with a 30-day trial.

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