GreatCall, creators of the Jitterbug cell phone for seniors, announced its first iOS application for iPhone and iPad, called MedCoach. The free application marks a strategic departure for the company, which has been built on the premise that a faction of users were more interested in easy-to-use phones. The iOS app looks to help GreatCall reach a different customer base -- one that uses smartphones and tablets.
The MedCoach app features similar features to the services offered in GreatCall's Jitterbug Service Store -- at its launch the company stressed the idea of "service" over "app". MedCoach's offerings include medication management, a contact list of doctors and pharmacies, as well as 24/7 email access to the company's HIPAA compliant personal assistance service.
The app also includes a "Shake for Help" feature that leverages the iPhone's built-in accelerometer: Users shake the phone and a help "bubble" specific to the content onscreen will appear. When it's time to refill medications, the user's pharmacy can be contacted directly from the app, too.
At the beginning of last year GreatCall's Jitterbug service began offering its first health services: Wellness calls and health tips. In November 2009 the company had acquired a mobile personal emergency response service provider, MobiWatch, which led to the launch of GreatCall's 5Star PERS offering earlier this year. By August 2010 the Jitterbug service offered medication reminders, medication refills and check-in calls and Live Nurse. In early 2009 we wrote about Jitterbug's pilot with WellDoc and Meridian Health for a mobile-enabled diabetes management service, but GreatCall has yet to launch the service commercially to its users.