Bosch taps Doro for mobile telecare in Europe

By Jonah Comstock
Doro 740

The Doro Secure 740, Doro's new 3G smartphone

Doro, the Swedish company that makes mobile phones specifically designed for seniors, has announced a partnership with Bosch Healthcare to expand Bosch's European telehealth network to include a mobile phone-based component.

Up until now, Bosch's telehealth offering in Europe has been in the home, Doro CEO Jerome Arnaud told MobiHealthNews. Integration with Doro's phones will allow seniors to be in touch with the system even outside their homes. The mobile phones will have an alarm button built in, which would contact Bosch's call centers in one of two ways -- either using an IP messaging platform or sending an SMS message. The alarm call will contain GPS information, allowing Bosch to dispatch emergency response teams to the user's location, even if they're not able to speak or don't know where they are. The message will also include pre-entered information about the user and information about the phone's battery life.

Doro has had an alarm system on its phones for some time, acquiring tele-assistance company Birdy Technology in 2011. But Bosch's telehealth infrastructure will allow them to sell those phones in many more of their European markets, starting in Switzerland and Germany. The Bosch alarm system will be included on one of Doro's standard feature phones, the Doro Secure 680.  But it will also role out on Doro's first smartphone, which the company has just begun to offer in Sweden.

The Doro Secure 740 is a sliding Android smartphone, which is debuting with its own app store, featuring a limited number of apps from the Google Play store. Arnaud says the company plans to offer more apps as customers request them, but is starting with a limited number to keep the device simpler. Doro bought Prylo SAS, a France-based Android developer, last year.

Arnaud says it's too soon to gauge the seniors' reaction to the smartphone offering, but said the decision was motivated by requests from Doro's consumer base. The features Doro touts on its website are the abilities to access email, read the news, and take and share photos with the built-in 5MP camera. It also integrates Doro Experience, a software product designed to make tablet, PC, or smartphone user interfaces clearer and easier for seniors, and provides an option for remote assistance from family or more tech-savvy friends.

Although Doro's US phones are equipped with single-button emergency dialing, Doro's partnership with Bosch hasn't been brought to the United States yet. Meanwhile, competitor GreatCall, which makes the Jitterbug line of phones for seniors, announced the expansion of its 5star mPERS system this summer.