If electronic technology can make aquatics safer, why not?

Over the years, the technology industry has migrated into the aquatics venue with the introduction of four layers of aquatic safety products; intrusion detection, immersion detection, submersion detection, and drowning detection.

 

With all these choices on the market, why are they not in every pool?

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I think the biggest reason is the economy and budget restraints. Everyone is looking for ways to cut back, so they don't have the thousands of dollars it may take to install these devices. I think there are some great products out there, but just no money to bring it in.
I agree with Adam, I wish I could have some of them. But, look what VGB did to pools across the country.
Because none of these products actually work, at least not to the extent that they are advertised. Have you spoken to anyone that has one of these products? I have spoken to a few and they usually turn them off due to “false alarms”.
As a co-founder of a company that has recently introduced a new drowning detection technology, I am of course a bit biased. Still, please hear me out:

1) No one can dispute the need for, and benefit from, VGB. It will prevent entrapment from killing or injuring swimmers. However, the statistic truth is that only a few people are injured or killed each year from entrapment, while hundreds drown each year in guarded pools. With the statistics increasing each year, clearly the current approach to drowning prevention (eradicating the entrapment risk, eduction and awareness campaigns, and swimming lessons) can and needs to be improved upon.

2) Each drowning impacts families, facilities, communities, and the perception of swimming itself. As with other activities that offer participants benefits but carry with them inherent risk, such as driving, bicycling or skiing, the time is now for the aquatics industry as a whole to embrace innovative drowning detection technologies and make swimming a safer activity.

3) Recent advancements in drowning detection technologies have made them considerably more reliable. Most of the issues that plagued earlier systems have been resolved, and newer technologies offer facilities solutions and choices that were previously unavailable. While false alerts may happen and no system is 100% perfect, what's more important to consider is that actual drowning events are detected and lives are saved.

4) The often misguided notion expressed that these systems are designed to eventually replace live guards also needs to be discouraged. Only a live person can intervene and save a life; these technologies simply empower that "live person" by providing them with an additional layer of protection and surveillance. This misguided notion is often accompanied by the sentiment that technology will make guards complacent. Used effectively, the opposite is true. Guards can be motivated to "beat" the system on their watch, becoming acutely aware of their environment and intervening before the system detects a possible event.

5) Like any newer technology that is embraced, over time the costs come down as more and more units are manufactured. An easy comparison is the flat screen TV, which initially costs thousands but now cost hundreds. This is a typical cycle. But to begin that cycle in terms of drowning detection technology, the aquatic industry must first accept embrace use of technology, and then increase their demand.

Still, even now when approached properly, the cost of a system can be offset by reasonable financing arrangements, and a shared responsibility between patrons, facilities, the insurance industry, corporate sponsors and even donors. In some applications with the right business model, drowning detection systems can even be used to generate revenue to offset their cost.

6) Granted, incorporating drowning detection technology into everyday protocols may require behavioral change on the part of staff and patrons. However, over time, common-sense changes become commonplace activities, just as buckling up before driving or wearing a helmet before cycling have become ingrained behavior in our culture. No matter how difficult it is, worthwhile change is always worthwhile: Reducing risk if always worthwhile. Providing a higher standard of care is always worthwhile. Saving lives is always, always worthwhile.

In summary, by utilizing available drowning detection technology, the industry can finally turn the numbers around, and reduce the risk of preventable drowning by providing a higher standard of care for it's patrons, and dramatically improve the public's perception of swimming as being safe, healthy and a stress-free recreational activity.

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