Connecting M2M devices globally

with one SIM card using multiple networks.

What sort of SIM should be used for dementia GPS trackers?

old people sitting on a bench

Dementia is a growing issue in the UK, where 850,000 people are affected by the disease, with the number expected to rise to two million in the next 30 years. Therefore, finding ways to safeguard patients is an area ripe for innovation and investment. Phone tracking apps can be useful, but mobiles are easily forgotten, especially by patients who haven’t had much experience with them and may struggle using a modern mobile.

This is where the recent surge in personal GPS tracking products, usually in the form of a pendant or keychain, can help as they are much more likely to stay on or with a patient. However, these still require a SIM card in order to send the GPS location data back in the form of an SMS message or by interacting with an app. You may be thinking the best option would be to pop down to your local phone shop as SIM cards are synonymous with phones these days, but there is a better option.

Machine-to-Machine, or M2M, SIM cards are designed differently than traditional SIMs and offer some great features that add an extra level of peace of mind for those caring for dementia patients or family members:


By adding an extra layer of robustness in the form of water, temperature and vibration resistance, M2M SIMs have a much longer lifespan and have a much lower chance of failing.


M2M SIMs aren’t locked to a single network. Instead, they are able to switch or ‘roam’ between networks if there is a stronger signal available. This adds an extra layer of resiliency, ensuring that when the tracker is activated, the data has multiple routes available if the primary network suffers an outage or is not within range.


As with consumer SIM cards, some M2M providers will attach data allowances to their cards which provide a set amount of data to use within a set time, usually a month. While this does help plan budgets, many users find they don’t use anywhere near the amount of data provisioned. This is where Pay as You Go M2M SIMs come in, so that the only data you pay for is used.

Over 225,000 people in the UK will develop dementia this year; that’s the equivalent of one every three minutes. Therefore, discovering methods to increase safety measures for a growing number of patients, without allocating significant resources and staff, will become more important to care providers and families alike.

Patients with dementia aren’t the only application for GPS tracking; excluding traditional business uses, these can be attached to anything that you need to locate quickly, becoming a popular choice to keep track of children whilst on holiday, and can even be attached to a pet’s collar!

However, finding value for money can be hard. Global M2M SIM offers Pay as You Go SIMs that can transmit data information from as little as 7p per SMS request or lower if a data connection is used – much more reasonable than a £20 per month data contract.