New GreatCall, Samsung Rollout is Smartphone-Meets-Senior Care

Samsung, the multinational consumer electronics manufacturer, has long maintained the slogan “the next big thing is already here” for its flagship—and iPhone competitor—Galaxy smartphone. However, the same may also be said for one of its latest products developed in collaboration with GreatCall, a company specializing in creating usable technology for active aging.

The product, dubbed the Touch3, combines smartphone sleekness and functionality with a suite of senior care solutions reminiscent of any medical alert device, caregiver call service and medication management platform.

Touch3 is the newest product from the San Diego, Calif.-based GreatCall, which has been collaborating with Samsung since first launching in 2006, said GreatCall CEO David Inns.

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“We’ve been doing the same thing since day one—providing usable tech to help older consumers stay independent longer, stay safe and improve their overall health and well-being while staying connected to family and friends,” Inns told SHN.

Pre-loaded with several apps exclusive to GreatCall’s health and safety services, Touch3 enables users to request and access certain features simply with just the touch of a button, alleviating many of the complexities associated with smartphones on the market today that aren’t designed specifically, or solely, for senior use.

“Our customers told us they don’t like to wade through numerous difficult-to-read screens to get what they want,” said Inns. “We focused on essentials, so accessing meaningful functions—help, phone, camera and text—is quicker and easier and technology becomes a key part of the solution.”

Touch3 users get access to GreatCalls 5Star service and its team of NAED-Certified Response Agents who are trained in CPR as well as other emergency procedures and can identify a user’s location using the phone’s GPS, along with information provided in the user’s Personal Profile, and dispatch emergency services, if needed.

Users can also speak with registered nurses or board certified doctors any time without having to travel to a medical office or make a copayment via 24/7 unlimited access to the GreatCall Urgent Care app, also pre-loaded on the device.

Additionally, the MedCoach medication reminder app enables users to follow medication schedules as prescribed by their doctors.

For those who might be coping with the responsibilities of caregiving, Touch3 also features Link, an app that, when downloaded by family caregivers, allows them to view information regarding their loved one’s health status and sends them an alert in the event a user contacts a 5Star agent in an emergency, including the date, time of call and type of assistance provided.

The app also provides information on daily events such as current locations, device power status and a list of activities to give remote caregivers insight on the user’s daily routines.

For the Touch3, GreatCall is targeting not only older consumers who are looking for ease of use in a smartphone device, but also those who are looking for ways to improve their own health and safety, said Inns.

“People who may be feeling vulnerable just want that extra sense of security that integrates not only communication with family and friends, but also integrates that with health and wellness apps,” Inns said.

Though the Touch3 is the latest product from GreatCall to build upon the company’s suite of senior care solutions, it’s not the only device in the market that aims to simplify smartphone technology for non-tech savvy users—especially in the realm of Android devices.

Earlier this year, UIU, a company that also delivers technologies that promote mobile accessibility regardless of age or ability, launched Wiser-Simple Launcher via the Google Play store.

Different from the Touch3, UIU’s Wiser is simply an app that bypasses the smartphone’s Android operating platform and replaces it with a simpler version fit with large, easy-to-read icons and less clutter.

Rather than having consumers purchase a new smartphone, which could run at least $200 for a Samsung Galaxy S5 or even an iPhone 5s just for the device before factoring in monthly service plans, GreatCall intends for the Touch3 to be a more affordable, competitor at just $169.99. Monthly plans that include the unlimited 5Star and UrgentCare services start at $24.99.

But at the end of the day, it boils down to more than just price, Inns said.

“With the Touch3, you’re not just buying a smartphone. You’re buying the service and peace of mind that comes with knowing that you have a device, and that for a monthly price it’s going to keep you connected and healthy.”

Written by Jason Oliva

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