Wearable Tech World Feature Article
October 13, 2015

UnaliWear Watch and Service Keep Seniors Independent

Senior citizens may need a little help now and then, but they still tend to care about their dignity. UnaliWear  is helping preserve that dignity with a new watch and related service that offers seniors the ability to call for help if needed, get reminders about when they need to take medicine, and guard against wandering if such behavior is a concern.

“Our primary wearer is somebody who’s independent but vulnerable,” said UnaliWear  CEO Jean Anne Booth.

In a recent interview with TMC’s CEO Rich Tehrani, Booth referred to the solution as a wearable OnStar for seniors. OnStar is, of course, the driver navigation system offered by GM.

“We go wherever you go – 24x7,” Booth said.

UnaliWear  ensured that by designing the watches to be completely waterproof, so seniors can wear them in the tub, in the shower, or even during water aerobics. Watch wearers don’t even have to remove the devices from their arms when changing the batteries.

The batteries are housed in the watchband, so seniors can simply pop open the housing from the front of their band to remove and refill the battery compartment. The watch alerts the wearer when it is time to replace the batteries, and the wearer has two days to do so.

The watches also offer ease of use in their regular operation, Booth noted. Rather than putting a bunch of buttons on the watches, which can be a challenge for to see, the UnaliWear  watch has a speech interface.

While the watch and related service can be used like an “I’ve-fallen-and-can’t-get-up” pendant, it also acts as a tracker for seniors should they lose their way.

The medication reminder is also a very important component of this solution. Booth said 38 percent of nursing home admissions and 10 percent of hospitalizations are due to medication non-compliance, which she added is frequently simply due to forgetfulness.

The watch and related service will be sold via channel partners including medical institutions and insurance companies. The fee of the service, which will be set by the channel, is expected to be in the $35 to $85 per month range. Channel partners will set their own prices for the watches.

Check out the full interview with UnaliWear  below: 

Edited by Stefania Viscusi

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