Lively, SafetyWatch: Review
Product name: Safety Watch
Manufacturer / Distributor: GreatCall (Lively)
Compilation: 9/1/14. Updated Q4 2015
This page contains our GreatCall (Lively) Safety Watch review.
Analyst Summary: GreatCall (Lively) Safety Watch
The Lively SafetyWatch is two products rolled into one. It is a set of activity-tracking home sensor systems. But in addition in 2015 the company added an emergency alert in the form of a SafetyWatch. We initially covered this product as part of our home sensor guide in 2014. We are now updating our coverage to include the SafetyWatch, as part of our analysis of personal emergency response systems (Q4 2015). In Nov 2015 Lively was acquired by GreatCall.
This is one of the few emergency alert systems that look stylish and as if you might want one even if you don't need one. We acquired one and included it in our testing of personal emergency response systems. Scroll down to see our discussion and hands-on testing.
NOTE: As of mid 2017, GreatCall has discontinued this product and it is no longer available nor supported.
Background Factoids (Home sensor System)
VC funded startup from Silicon Valley
- Low cost, rapidly gaining traction.
- Livelygram provides weekly senior mailings. Serves as senior interface of sorts.
- Sensor range lower than security-type sensor systems.
- UI designed to be rather simple.
- Excellent pr campaign. Long list of news articles about the product on the Lively website.
- Less complex (powerful) alerting and ADL tracking than, say, BeClose. But perhaps it is all you need for the lower intensity components of monitoring. And it is clearly simple, inexpensive and easy to use.
- Description of future mobile PERS and activity tracker sound rather well conceived. PERS was not yet released when we compiled this data (Aug. 2014) so details remain to be seen.
Detailed Feature Set (Home Sensor System)
|Feature Type||Product Characteristics|
|What job(s) does it do?|
|Check Dad is generally OK. Watch for significant changes in daily routine.||Yes|
|Automatically detect (& promptly alert on) specific adverse events||Limited|
|Senior can summon help promptly in emergency||Not yet. Coming Nov. 2014. Now released (The Lively "Watch". See here for a discussion and "evaluation".)|
|Track wellness and health parameters||No, in the basic form. The watch adds ability to track steps.|
|Reduce stress for in-home caregivers, and allow them to sleep (rest) without worrying.||N/A|
|Type of Monitoring|
|1. Check general daily routine is more or less "normal".||Yes|
|2. Watch what they do and when they do it, and catch unusual activity patterns||Limited|
|3. Detect specific (adverse) events (eg tub, stove, get out of bed)||Very limited and indirect|
|4. Detect falls automatically||No|
|5. 24/7 Human monitoring of activity patterns and sensor alerts||No|
|Normal vs Abnormal|
|Who decides what abnormal is (for alert on absence of stuff)?||User|
|Is there AI support to help learn what is normal??||No|
|Required Techie-ness to set up "normal vs abnormal"||Low|
|Who is the first (second etc) responder?|
|For system triggered alerts||Designated "friend(s)"|
|For senior calls for help||N/A|
|Sensor family||High volume consumer sensors|
|Sensor types||Accelerometers, key fob presence/absence|
|Senior interface for general monitoring||None for activity tracker. Livelygram as fringe benefit|
|Senior can summon help promptly in emergency: which approach?||N/A. Watch does this, but we have not yet evaluated it in depth.|
|Friends & Family interface|
|Activity time line streams for individual sensors||Available but limited|
|Red/green/yellow for status for individual sensors||Yes|
|Open API||Not yet. Planned for Q1, 2015.|
|Friends & Family interface platforms||Browser based. Also App for Android and iOS.|
|Alert handling||Fairly simple set of alerts are possible. Set up a "routine" such as once per day or twice per day, and if sensor not triggered on that timing then system triggers alerts|
|Ease of Use & service||Not tested. Clearly a focus for the company.|
|Installation: DIY or Professional||Designed to be consumer install. Comes in mail. Sticky backs on sensors.|
|Privacy & Security|
|Data center robustness and maturity||Use Amazon AWS.|
|Who owns the data||The company|
|Will it work in your house?|
|Sensor range (max in air)||100-150 ft in air. Claim works fine for 3-4,000 sq. ft home. Can get range extender from third party|
|Communication to data storage "cloud" (need at least one of these)|
|Home Internet & WiFi network||Not required|
|Battery backup in base station (in case of power outage)||No|
|Stage of deployment||Traction (1,000-10,000). "Many thousands in first six months"|
|Company maturity & stability||Shipping since 9/2013.|
|Published studies showing "it works"||Rather small pilot study at Eskaton about to be published. Promising results about stress reduction in the family of seniors. Request copy from Lively.|
|Acquiring it (July 2014)|
|Countries available (or soon to be available)||USA,
|Two year costs*||$619|
|Where to Buy it||Lively website, Amazon, Hills (Australia)|
|* typically 6 sensor package if have that.|
|Sensor to base station communication prototcols||Bluetooth LTE|
#: In August 2015, this product was discontinued in Australia by the distributor, Hills, who had previously carried it. In mid 2015 the product was introduced in UK, Canada and Mexico.
We acquired the latest version of the SafetyWatch in Nov. 2015.
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About this Research
This product review is part of an extensive series of medical alert system reviews of over 50 products, including hands-on evaluation and real-world testing of the most promising ones, in real-world situations.
These reviews and analyses are part of our Research Project designed to help older adults and their families Choose the Right Medical Alert System for THEM — the result of which is our Medical Alert Systems: Selection Guide.
We have tried hard to make this research as independent and objective as possible. It has not been funded or sponsored by any of the vendors of these products, and includes no advertising or "sponsored content". The team that conducted this research has strong scientific, clinical, and aging services backgrounds. You can read more about the team that did this research at the links above.
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