Medical peace of mind has become a major selling point for wearables, and there’s no more vulnerable community than senior citizens — adults who can generally live on their own, yet might require medical assistance at any given moment. Catering specifically to seniors, Best Buy subsidiary GreatCall today announced Lively Mobile Plus, an LTE-connected wearable that provides instant medical alert access, anywhere in the United States.
Lively Mobile Plus is a silver box with an attachment loop on the top and several different wearable options — a neck lanyard, a wristband, or a belt clip — plus the ability to be carried in a purse. The key design element is a single large button that can be pressed in emergencies or non-emergencies, now with twin speaker holes above it and a single microphone hole below it. With a monthly service plan, pressing the button connects the wearer to IAED-certified 5Star agents, who use the speaker and microphone to assess the situation and dispatch assistance; without the plan, the device dials 911 for assistance.
When used with the lanyard, Plus offers a fall-detection feature that can — if turned on — automatically call 5Star in the event of a sudden drop. The device also features IPX7 waterproofing so it can be worn in the shower, a not uncommon site for slips and falls.
A sequel to GreatCall’s first Lively Mobile device, Plus includes several enhancements that could make a big difference for ambulatory seniors. Using a Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 1100 chip, the battery life has been increased to 80 hours between recharges with the included dock; that’s more than three days, compared with roughly two before. Plus also features higher-accuracy GPS location, and connects — without Verizon branding — to the nation’s “largest and most dependable” LTE network for nationwide assistance calls and location data.
Lively Mobile Plus doesn’t offer Apple Watch-style svelte design or computer-like expandability — common selling points of other rivals — but instead focuses on purpose-built functionality for seniors. Between the multi-day battery life, LTE, GPS, and wear-where-you-prefer design, it’s meant to help family members feel confident that a vulnerable senior will carry a tool that makes getting help or providing their location easy, even if they have memory or cognition issues.
Best Buy is currently offering Lively Mobile Plus for $50, bundled with its charging dock, belt clip, and lanyard. Service plans range from $20-$35 depending on the features customers want to include.