SAN DIEGO (April 28, 2015) – GreatCall, the leader in creating mobile health and safety solutions for active aging, today added automatic fall detection to its 5Star urgent response service. As falls are the leading cause of injury among older adults, this technology enables them to go about their lives safely and independently, knowing the device will automatically alert a highly trained 5Star agent in the event of a fall.
Falls were responsible for emergency room visits by over 2.5 million Americans over the age of 65 in 2013 alone – resulting in direct medical costs of $30 billion (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). According to the World Health Organization, the number of injuries caused by falls is projected to double by 2030.
“Not only are falls very common in older adults and can have devastating consequences, but even the ubiquitous fear of falling tends to impact everyday functioning in a major way,” noted Dr. Dilip V. Jeste, Senior Associate Dean for Healthy Aging and Senior Care, University of California, San Diego. “Any safe and effective means of alerting people about a fall would help reduce the deleterious effects of the fall and also provide peace of mind that comes from feelings of safety, security, and independence.”
The fall detection technology utilizes a tri-axial accelerometer with patented algorithms developed by BioSensics, a company specializing in wearable sensors for health care, with support from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and in collaboration with the University of Arizona Medical School and Center on Aging. The algorithm evaluates sudden changes in body movement in relation to the user’s physical activity and posture to identify falls.
When GreatCall’s urgent response device detects a fall, an audible prompt notifies the user that a call will be made to 5Star urgent response agents. The call is identified as being automatically generated via fall detection and, as with all 5Star calls, a team of NAED-Certified Response Agents handles communication through the device and stays connected with the customer until the incident is resolved and, if necessary, can conference loved ones onto the call. Additionally, family caregivers using the GreatCall Link app will receive a push notification on their smartphone.
“We are very pleased to add GreatCall to the list of partners for our fall detection technology,” said Dr. Joseph Gwin, BioSensics Vice President of Research and Development. “The waterproof, mobile, GreatCall Splash has had, and will continue to have, a significant impact on the safety, health and independence of older adults. We are proud to be a part of this effort.”
“As GreatCall continues to build its portfolio of active aging solutions, we see automated fall detection as a priority for keeping our customers safe, healthy and independent,” said Dean Williams, Vice President of Technology, GreatCall. “We are partnering with BioSensics to bring the best fall detection technology available to our Splash devices. Our customers depend on the integrity of our health and safety solutions, and this technology enables us to deliver on our commitment.”
Unlimited access to fall detection service is included in GreatCall’s Ultimate Health & Safety Package. New customers will have the ability to select this package during purchase or activation and existing customers can contact Customer Care to upgrade their current plan. The GreatCall Ultimate Health & Safety Package costs $34.99 per month. No contract, cancellation fees or equipment installation is required. Additional information can be found at www.greatcall.com/falldetection.
About GreatCall, Inc.
GreatCall is the leader in creating usable technology for active aging. The creator of a suite of easy-to-use mobile products, including GreatCall Splash, Jitterbug5, Touch3 and health, safety and medical apps: Urgent Care, GreatCall Link, MedCoach and 5Star. GreatCall utilizes an award-winning personalized approach to ensure aging consumers can live more independent lives.
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direct to consumers at 1-800-296-4993 and online at GreatCall.com. Service covers the U.S. GreatCall is headquartered in San Diego, CA. To learn more about GreatCall products and services, please visitwww.GreatCall.com. This news release and other announcements are available at www.greatcall.com/buzz or follow our news on Twitter @GreatCallinc and on Facebook at Facebook.com/greatcall. For access to company logos, hi-resolution images and screen shots, please visit: www.greatcall.com/assets.
The GreatCall Link app gives family caregivers peace of mind by providing both critical information in an urgent situation and snapshots of normal daily activities. Friends and family who download the Link app to their smartphone will receive an alert when the user of a GreatCall device contacts a 5Star agent in an emergency, including the date, time of call and type of help provided. In addition, the app provides information on daily events such as current locations, power status, and a list of activities to ensure that daily routines are normal and the device is charged and in use.