Prime role for health technology is helping seniors stay independent


Helping seniors stay “active, mobile and independent” is the prime mission for GreatCall, a San-Diego-based provider of independent-living tools for elderly Americans and their caregivers.

(Click here to download the full Retail Health Summit special report.)

GreatCall CEO David Inns explained, “provides technology and services to keep older consumers safe and independent in their homes longer.” Through products like the Jitterbug smartphone, a Jitterbug urgent-response flip phone, and a line of mobile and wearable devices, the company links at-home seniors with 24/7 access to physicians and registered nurses, helps with medication adherence and refills, easily links to family and friends, and offers an urgent-response service for emergencies.

“All those services generate ... data about the overall well-being of the senior,” Inns said. “So we know how much they exercise, leave the house, make it to the doc on time, etc. We can take that data, analyze it and present it back to family caregivers.”

“If that info could be easily linked through a pharmacy system, it would increase adoption ... immensely, and increase the accuracy of the system,” he added.

However, Inns said it’s vital to provide support to seniors using new health and communications technology. “An AARP study showed that among seniors who had started using a FitBit, more than half of them stopped using it within the first few weeks ... because that experience was designed for a 20- to 30-year-old fitness buff, not for a 72-year-old woman who just needs it to track exercise and wellness. So that’s a really important part of creating value in this health ecosystem.”

This ad will auto-close in 10 seconds