The 5Star personal responder, a small GPS device that can call for help anywhere there is a cell signal, just got better.
The company that makes it, GreatCall, just announced a smartphone app that allows you to get real-time updates on what’s happening with the loved one who is using the 5Star device.
The app is called “GreatCall Link” and it’s available in the iTunes store and Google Play.
You can get notified when the person presses the alert button, and get records for each and every alert call that is made, including notes from the call center operator.
The app can request the current location of the 5Star device, which is either very cool or an invasion of privacy, depending how you feel about it.
More importantly, it can find out whether the device is powered on or off and check the battery level remotely. This takes care of one my big hesitations about this device, which is that unlike other medical alerts it needs to be charged properly and frequently.
Here’s the full press release.
LAS VEGAS, BOOTH 25521, SOUTH HALL 2, LVCC (January 7, 2014) – GreatCall Inc., the leader in providing solutions that enable independence for aging consumers and their family caregivers, today announced the launch of GreatCall Link. The smartphone app seamlessly connects GreatCall’s health and safety products with family caregivers, extending their ability to provide needed support.
The app provides alerts to the caregiver when the 5Star subscriber hits the button for help. It also provides a record of all calls and the status of each interaction with one of GreatCall’s NAED Certified Response agents. Information includes date, time and location on a map so the caregiver has a clear understanding of what is happening in real time. In addition GreatCall Link provides caregivers with on-demand information, to ensure that daily routines are normal and appointments are kept.
Approximately 42 million Americans are caring for aging family members. “The essence of GreatCall is its commitment to understanding and supporting the changing needs of the caregivers and the families they support,” said David Inns, President and CEO of GreatCall. “As a company, we are the people the caregivers count on.”
A study of older Americans and their family caregivers, undertaken by an independent research firm for GreatCall, identified a number of critical insights into their needs, including:
• 88 percent of caregivers wish they had someone who could be there when they can’t, as 70 percent feel overwhelmed by their responsibilities; and
• 85 percent of caregivers wish they had more information about what was really happening with their aging family members .
“This research has helped shape GreatCall’s vision,” added Inns. “Given the rapid growth of this population, their expanding health needs and life expectancies and the increasing pressures on family caregivers, we must continue to develop meaningful technologies to address these needs.”
Additional features of the GreatCall Link service include:
• record of 5Star calls with an NAED Certified Response Agent and the action taken;
• ability to request current location for up-to-the-minute status at any time;
• visibility of current device power status (“on” or “off”) and battery level, confirming the device is being used regularly;
• capability to switch between different 5Star subscribers; and
• multiple caregivers able to connect to a single device.
To access GreatCall Link, the caregiver must be connected to a GreatCall product with 5Star service. GreatCall Link is available today with the 5Star device, and will be available later in January with the Jitterbug Plus and the Jitterbug Touch 2. There are no contracts, cancellation fees or equipment to install.
The GreatCall Link mobile application can be downloaded free via Google Play or the iTunes app store. Authorized contacts can launch the app on a smartphone or access GreatCall Link through the web. For more information, please go to link.greatcall.com.
About GreatCall Inc.
GreatCall is the leader in providing solutions that enable independence for aging consumers and their family caregivers. The creator of Jitterbug, 5Star and a suite of health, safety and medical apps, including Urgent Care, GreatCall Link, MedCoach and 5Star, GreatCall utilizes an award-winning personalized approach to ensure aging consumers feel more connected, in control and safe.