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The Apple Watch and Fall Detection – What’s it Mean?

When Apple speaks, a puzzled market listens. When Apple announces, industries crane their necks to hear. Last week they announced two features of a new watch, ECG monitoring and fall detection. In July, Tim Cook apparently did not want to get into the world of FDA regulation. Well, that was then – or he just wasn’t saying. In this new watch, both the ECG feature and fall detection have received FDA clearance within 30 days of applying, startling some observers who noted that closer to 150 days was more typical for a medical device.  Healthcare observers are concerned that false positives from ECG readings could propel people unnecessarily to already-overloaded Emergency Rooms. To date, the Apple Watch may have been of greatest interest to 40 year old males. Interestingly, 70% of cases of atrial fibrillation are among the 65+ population.  Does Apple really want the 65+ population to buy an Apple watch?

New Technology Offerings for Caregivers and Families

As summer winds down, innovators rev up.  August is winding down -- the calm before the autumn slew of activity.  Nonetheless, new milestones and partnerships were announced this month, including Embodied Labs becoming a finalist for the Top8 XR Education Prize sponsored by the Bill  Melinda Gates Foundation,  MedMinder reaching 1433 on the Inc5000, the acquisition of GreatCall by BestBuy, and MobileHelp announcing a partnership with LifePod.  And four companies released new offerings to help professional and family caregivers improve monitoring and well-being among older adults:

MobileHelp® Announces Partnership with LifePod

08/28/2018

BOCA RATON, Fla. – August 28, 2018 – MobileHelp®, a leader in mobile Personal Emergency Response Systems (mPERS) and healthcare technology, announced today an exclusive partnership with LifePod Solutions, pioneer of a natural, proactive voice service for older adults aging at home as well as patients and their caregivers.

Best Buy Acquires GreatCall – What’s it Mean for Best Buy?

First take – this links together multiple Best Buy initiatives, starting in 2011.   Look at the history of Best Buy. First a dabble with the now departed Wellcore in 2011 – clearly the time was not right – the oldest baby boomer turned 72 in 2018, but at 65 in 2010, consumers could not comprehend the utility of a wearable fall detector. But Best Buy executives saw the opportunity and decided to learn more.  More significant in 2011, Best Buy became a founding consortium member in a ‘living lab’ Charter House in Rochester, Minnesota (along with Mayo Clinic). "We believe technology has the potential to foster healthy, productive lives by enabling easier access to information and medical care," says Kurt Hulander, then senior director of health platforms at Best Buy.  

An important update regarding the FallCall Lite App

08/16/2018
 
I'm writing to you today to announce our very latest update from FallCall Lite. We've teamed up with Mytrex, Inc (d.b.a. Rescue Alert) to bring fully-integrated emergency medical monitoring services into the Apple Ecosystem.
 
 
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Best Buy Acquires GreatCall, A Leading Connected Health Services Provider

08/15/2018

Minneapolis, August 15, 2018 – Best Buy Co., Inc. (NYSE: BBY), a leading technology products and services provider, today announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire GreatCall, Inc. for $800 million in cash.  

FallCall: A New Generation of Personal Emergency Assistant App Comes to Apple Watch® and iPhone®

08/02/2018

TRUMBULL, Conn., Aug. 2, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- FallCall Solutions, a Connecticut-based technology startup committed to creating simplified communication solutions for Elders and Caregivers, announced today that the company has launched its second product, FallCall™ Lite, a Personal Emergency Response System (PERS) app built exclusively for Apple Watch and iPhone.

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