GreatCall acquires Healthsense, further expanding its aging technology scope

By Jonah Comstock
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San Diego-based GreatCall, an aging-in-place tech company that makes both phones for seniors and mPERS, has acquired Healthsense, a Minnesota-based remote monitoring company. The terms of the deal were undisclosed.

This is the second major acquisition for GreatCall -- which started out only making smartphones for seniors -- that expands its participation in the aging tech space. GreatCall bought remote monitoring company Lively around this time last year. Years before that, it acquired a smaller company called MobiWatch.

“As GreatCall continues to expand in these key markets, Healthsense is a natural fit – with our missions of increasing independence, reducing total cost of care and improving the resident, family and caregiver experience,” David Inns, CEO of GreatCall, said in a statement. “Acquiring Healthsense brings important capabilities in predictive analytics that dovetail with our deep customer knowledge, expands our offering, as well as increases our exposure in senior living and healthcare.”

Healthsense, which has offices in Minneapolis and Boston, has offered several products for senior living communities. For remote monitoring, HealthSense offers eNeighbor, a monitoring system that includes an emergency call pendant, sensors that track around-the-house activity like sleep, activity, and bathroom use, and other contact sensors placed around the home. According to the company, these track the senior’s “activities of daily living” or ADLs and also provide voice reminders from care providers.

“GreatCall is the ideal partner to take the company to the next level,” Healthsense CEO A.R. Weiler said in a statement. “We know that older adults want to age independently as long as possible, and the technology and support that GreatCall can provide will allow more of them to achieve this goal.”

The company's other remote patient monitoring tools are a personal emergency response system and WellAware Systems, a program that offers caregivers a snapshot of a patient's daily health metrics along with analytics. This includes metrics on sleep quality, activity levels, bathroom visits, and other physiological information. Healthsense also offers a nurse call system, vital sign monitoring, and wellness management.

Healthsense had $17 million in funding, although some was debt, and investors included Merck Global Health Innovation Fund, Radius Ventures, and Fallon Community Health Plan.

“We are both extremely focused on the end user, and in keeping customers along the aging continuum safe and healthy,” Inns said. “Our goals are so closely aligned that we expect the integration to be seamless.”