GreatCall: Reviews and Company Overview

GreatCall is a well regarded leader in design of senior-friendly products, and makes the popular Jitterbug phones, as well as the Lively Mobile Plus mobile emergency alert pendant.

The 5 star response services that work on each of the emergency devices above can optionally include some very interesting services that go far beyond the traditional emergency responder service. These extra services include 24/7 access to a doctor or nurse, and use of a caregiver connection application called GreatCall Link.

GreatCall owns and runs its own responder center (they call them a Caring Center). In an interview, GreatCall emphasized several aspects they believe are important aspects of a good emergency response center.

  1. Well trained responders. GreatCall tells us that all their responders have NAED certification (National Academies of Emergency Dispatch). And the customer service representatives that help with purchasing and technical issues undergo a 6 week training course.

  2. Speed of response. And in our tests of the Splash and the 5 star App, response time was consistently the fastest of the tested products.

  3. Speed to pop up the location on the screen of the responder. 

  4. Redundancy of the responder center (GreatCall has two fully redundant Caring Centers — one in California and one in Nevada).

  5. Carrier coverage (ie the products will only work in places where the carrier has coverage so the broader that coverage is the better). GreatCall products use Verizon as the cell carrier.

  6. Data privacy.

In addition to its line of emergency response system producst, Great Call also has several interesting services that can ride on top of its hardware products. We recently took a look at the medication management app called the Med Coach.

Individual Product Reviews: Our Analysis

 

GreatCall, Jitterbug Flip: Review

GreatCall, Jitterbug

This is an interestingly different approach to a medical alert. This product is a "senior friendly" cell phone, but it has a button which lets you call the medical alert monitoring service (called 5 star) which is provided by the manufacturer (GreatCall).


 

 

GreatCall 5 star app: Review

Greatcall, 5 star App

Medical Alert App for iPhone and Android. Uses same response center as more conventional GreatCall medical alert systems. This app no longer seems to be available as a stand alone app. But it comes as part of any of greatCall'sa medical alert products, and is a service that is available on their...


 

 

Med Coach Medication App

Med Coach Medication App

Nice app with a medication database. However, searching the database was unreliable – sometimes our medication came up, sometimes not. Five repeated searches for amlodipine returned five different, and often incomplete, results.

This Medication App was one of the runners up for the Useful...


 

 

Lively Mobile Plus

GreatCall, Lively Mobile Plus

The Lively Mobile Plus, launched in April 2019, replaced the Lively Mobile, which in turn had replaced the GreatCall Splash which featured heavily in many of our prior detailed comparative analyses.

The Lively Mobile Plus includes fall...


 

 

Lively Wearable

GreatCall, Lively Wearable

This is a very interesting addition to the PERS landscape, solving several problems that are common among other product offerings. However, the design tradeoffs the company has made in developing the product mean that it also has some limitations. Our overall take on the Lively Wearable is that it is an excellent solution for a specific type of person. But probably not suitable for the majority of older adults.


 

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