Notify someone if NO movement within a period of time

Wanted to share this project in case anyone else could benefit from it.

Older person living alone; wants to notify neighbor if no movement detected over a certain period of time, which could indicate a serious health problem: a fall, serious illness, or, god forbid, worse.

Former ‘Elder Care’ SmartApp that ran on the legacy platform was soon to be end-of-life.

I have an Edge driver that can be configured to track elapsed time and/or a simple increment/decrement counter. For purposes of this project, the device can be configured to use an elapsed time tracking resolution of seconds, minutes, hours, days, or weeks. It can also be configured to update the elapsed time value on a specified frequency, i.e. every n seconds.

Using this driver, it was fairly easy to set up a few automation routines to accomplish the goal.

  • Configure the counter device for a resolution of seconds and update frequency of 60 seconds

  • Create an automation routine that checks the duration value of the counter device to see if it has reached a certain number of seconds. If it has, send an SMS message to neighbor and reset the elapsed time value to 0

  • For each desired motion device, create an automation routine where, if motion is detected, reset the counter device elapsed time value to 0

That’s all there was to it. The elapsed time tracking simply ticks along continuously but gets reset to 0 whenever motion is detected. However if no motion gets detected for a specified period of time, a neighbor is alerted via text message.

Disclaimer: Neither this driver’s author nor Samsung SmartThings make any guarantee regarding this solution and it should not be relied upon for critical care situations!

For anyone interested in using this driver (Edge Counter Utility V1), it is available on my shared projects channel here, and discussion can be found in this topic.

Thanks to @wptracy for the inspiration for this project.


Nice! :sunglasses:

We should just note that, unlike the first generation architecture option that this replaces, this will require that the user have a smartthings/Aeotec hub, since that’s where the edge driver runs.


I’m trying to think of other use cases for this, does it basically work for any scenario where you want it to be X time after the last time you do it activities?

I take tablets that need to be spaced 4 hours apart after the first dose. This would be quite good if you had a sensor/button with your pill caddy. I currently have time based reminders but have to manually account for late starts.

Watering plants is probably another example?

charging device reminders that last for X hours use maybe?

You could also put the pill caddy in a box / shelf / drawer with a motion sensor that doesn’t pick up motion outside of the space; if you’re disciplined about putting it back, there would only be motion when you take the meds. Then you’d have two automations:

  1. if motion detected, then reset timer; then turn on timer;
  2. (let’s say you take the pills 3 times a day and the first one is around 8am) if precondition, time is between 7:30am and 4:30 pm; if timer = 4 hours; then send notification.
    It would work the same way with a button. The nice thing about the timer is that you can see at a glance how long until your next dose (add it to your favorites and it’ll be on the first screen when you open ST), and the routine would still work while away from home if you manually reset it when you take the meds.

Just my unsolicited opinion, take it for what it’s worth

There is no way I’d use SmartThings for anything life or health related. Too many instances of failure for it to be trusted.


True, BUT it is another option to use to augment monitoring of things. I had a motion piston we used to use when webcore was active and functioning. That allowed us to know how many motion events, last motion events on a sensor ect …

We used it in my MIL house to know if she was moving around. Several times it helped us know she had fallen or wasn’t moving about the house she lived in.

Was just another method for her daughters to feel a little more comfortable about her being alone.

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Can be really useful for things like watering plants as you say.
I wanted to switch on and off the hall lights in the evening when away from home so I set it up to run for a total of 2 hours, but combined with @Mariano_Colmenarejo 's Mirror Switch which switches on and off randomly.