Joining other big-name communications providers that have recently entered the senior living business, AT&T (NYSE: ATT) announced this week it is launching into senior care using the support of its national wireless network.
AT&T joins the ranks of STANLEY Healthcare, Time-Warner Cable and LG, which have used their service networks to tap into the senior care market with the aim of helping senior living and other healthcare providers improve care for their residents and patients via emerging technology.
AT&T’s EverThere device is a small, wearable monitor that a user can press in the event of a fall, stroke or other health episode. Upon pressing the device’s call button, EverThere can identify the location of where a fall has occurred via GPS technology and connects the device’s user to a 24/7 call center for response and support using the AT&T wireless network.
The device is a product of AT&T ForHealth, a practice founded in late 2010 with the focus of accelerating the delivery of innovative mobile, cloud-based and networking services and applications to help the healthcare industry improve patient care and reduce costs.
“This solution helps provide better care to elderly patients who are living independently, have disabilities or are prone to falls,” said Nasrin Dayani, executive director of AT&T ForHealth, in an email to SHN. “It can also increase the quality of care available at nursing agencies, adult day care services and other home care providers.”
With at least one-third of adults over age 65 in North America experiencing a fall each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, AT&T believes it’s EverThere product can help to address this concern, using its wireless network and two-way voice communication to expedite assistance when a fall occurs.
“When falls and acute medical events occur, each second that passes matters,” Dayani said. “Individuals need to be able to immediately alert emergency services and their caregivers when these critical moments happen. This solution goes beyond medical alerts, and offers automatic fall detection, enabling these consumers and their family members to better manage their healthcare needs and ultimately stay healthier and independent longer.”
First developed in March 2013, AT&T marketed EverThere toward healthcare providers with large Medicaid and Medicare populations, such as nursing agencies, adult day care services and other home care providers.
“We’re focused on helping to improve patient outcome by developing innovative mHealth services for both consumers and businesses within the healthcare ecosystem,” said Chris Hill, senior vice president of Advanced Solutions at AT&T in a statement.
Though EverThere is essentially a personal emergency response system (PERS), unlike traditional PERS devices that target individuals in their 80s, this solution can foster independence among a younger, healthier aging population as well. It can be worn as a pendant around a senior’s neck, or clipped to a belt or waistband for those on-the-go seniors.
“EverThere offers powerful and reliable technology that can monitor for falls in and out of the home,” said Chris Penrose, senior vice president of Emerging Devices at AT&T. “With the inclusion of AT&T’s nationwide wireless service, we are giving our customers greater peace of mind and the flexibility to go where they want and live active lifestyles.”
EverThere offers two options for service coverage, including a no-annual contract option. An 11-month contract costs $99.99 and has a monthly service charge of $29.99. For no annual contract, the device costs $199.99 with a monthly service charge of $29.99. Both pricing options reflect contract prices for an individual device. As for large scale purchasing, AT&T said it does not yet have specifics on what pricing will entail.
“Today’s seniors are unlike generations past; they are on the go and committed to living active lives,” said Tim Smokoff, CEO of Numera, which manufactured the EverTere device. “With EverThere, people no longer have to choose between safety and independence. We’re pleased to work with AT&T in offering seniors a service that can give them the peace of mind to live active lifestyles longer.”
Written by Jason Oliva