Pushing Notifications multiple times + SMS to possibly save lives

So i have been playing with the idea to use smartthings as a way to notify family members / someone when something might have happened to a person.

You can set any device to push a notification when it is turned in a state for x amount of time.
So for example the following scenario:

“A person lives alone, and the motion detector in the hallway has not picked up any motion for 8+ hours… a notification will be sent to family members to go check on the person”

Is there a way other than push notifications to alert people? (Because this only works once / is not reliable if you set it up to send another message after the first one is sent… it wont pop up another time on the phone)

Is it possible to get a SMS functionality integrated into smartthings? Or is there another way to alert others other than the push notifications? (Possibly with a “I have seen this notification” check?)

Might this be a good idea for the smartthings team to pick up on? I can see many use cases for this.

What country are you in? Sms is available in US.


I am in the Netherlands sadly… i know the US has the SMS still in play.

Looking at the European market for smartthings; there is a very big group of elderly growing every day (65+ years of age) (4.6 million by 2040 in the Netherlands alone) and there is not enough healthcare available, so people are destined to stay at home for longer.

A kind of alarm / solid notification system could be a great addition to smartthings. Targeting a huge group of potential new costumers for the service.

Me myself would already implement it at 6 people straight away.

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While I understand your desire, I would never use smartthings for this because any notification from it using any method will require Internet connectivity. The gold standard for panic button notifications is always mobile/cellular, and that’s what my own medical alert panic buttons use. There are just too many things that can go wrong in a smartthings system.

Among other issues, because smartthings notifications all have to go through their cloud, if your Internet connection is down for a little while or if the smartthings cloud is unavailable for a little while, the notifications stack up which can result in them being sent many hours later. That’s also bad for an emergency notification.

So an important and interesting use case, I just don’t think smartthings is a match to it.


Agreed, although most systems i saw on the market still use the “Good old wifi” to communicate with the outer world.

Any system has it’s drawbacks / risks of not functioning. Just looking at another way smartthings could possibly be used.

The thing with a panic button is that u still gotta press it… and have it on you at all times.

(Hub V 4.0 with cellular please :grin:?)

I should also say that there have been both official smart things monitoring features and community built monitoring features in the past, but pretty much everyone has abandoned it and moved on to a more reliable system after a few months.

Here’s a typical discussion thread from the past.

But again, a year later hardly anyone was still using their smartthings – based solution for this use case.

I think @rboy had a smartapp for this in his paywall library: but I don’t know if it works with the current architecture and I don’t know if there any plans to transition it to the new architecture, and I don’t know if he even still offers it. :thinking:

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Surely in the past 6 years some things should have “improved” to make this kind of pattern recognition system possible in smartthings?

With a few million potential (future) costumers some bells should start ringing at Samsung HQ surely?

(Sadly most tech companies dont see the elderly target group as costumers)

I also meant various kinds of monitoring systems. Again if you look at the thread I just linked to you’ll see that people have used motion sensors, contact sensors, pressure mats, all kinds of things. But it always came down to the end reliability, and that’s the piece that smartthings is missing.

I used to use a purpose built medical alert button that was a wearable, and I wrote about that in the forum couple of times back in 2016.

By 2018, like most people who need something like this and can afford it, I had switched to an Apple Watch. It has a lot of health monitoring features, including fall detection, and can be worn in the shower. So I think it’s become the device of choice for many people. Some insurance companies even cover part of the cost for heart patients, for example.

Anyway, I have mine on the whole time I’m awake. I have some other friends who are also medically fragile and have two watches so they wear one 24 hrs. a day.

You don’t have to press a button, you can activate it by voice, and it has some sensors which will trigger automatically like fall detection. so it’s just a really nice system if you can afford it.

And you can set it up to share notifications with up to five different people. Mine shares with my housemate, my brother, and my health monitoring center which handles my other health monitoring equipment.

Amazon also has their “Alexa together“ service, but it’s only available in the US. it cost $20 a month and it can tell the remote caregiver if there hasn’t been any activity when expected. But I’m mad at them right now because they used to have a free tier and now you can’t use it at all unless you pay the monthly subscription, which is pretty high. And of course that one is also Internet-based, although probably more reliable than smartthings based on historical performance. So it won’t solve your issue, but I mention it in case somebody else comes across it in research.


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So sad this is not available in Europe… :pensive:

The Apple Watch would be a good alternative that you mentioned (Although quite pricey if you count in the Iphone to set it all up)… but then again; one real use and the cost is well worth it!

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BTW, Samsung has had a subdivision for several years focused on products for the elderly who are aging in place. They just don’t use smartthings for that. They have been particularly interested in building out from the smart watches, smart phones, and galaxy fitness trackers. And they push their smart appliances into the mix.

So I think they understand the size of the market, they just aren’t looking to use smartthings for that.

Samsung also has its own health products division, and they are also doing some things out of that.

All of that said, my experience with Samsung has been that they talk a good game, but they don’t deliver as much. This has been really obvious in the issues with voice navigation of the smartthings app which have been present for three years now. The problems have been reported, multiple smartthings staff have even talked to me about them, but they just never quite get fixed. While competitors offer fully working apps and have for years. So it goes. It’s nice to hear the positive mission statement, but for those of us who truly depend on these products for our safety and independence, what matters is what actually gets delivered.