GreatCall, parent company to Jitterbug, the easy-to-use mobile phone service for seniors and others looking for simple phone service, has acquired mobile personal emergency response services company MobiWatch for an undisclosed sum.
Waltham, MA-based MobiWatch offered a keychain device that included an emergency button, which activated a Bluetooth connection with their cell phone which then connected to the emergency call center. The caller is then located via GPS and the call center can alert the police, ambulance or family members. The idea was similar to Onstar for cars.
As had been pointed out, MobiWatch intended to charge between $6 and $10 a month for a device and service that required a mobile phone already -- sure, a button is easier to press than 9-1-1-SEND on a cell phone. Maybe not $10 bucks a month easier though.
According to Jitterbug's press release, it seems to have no intention of carrying out MobiWatch's business model: Jitterbug plans to integrate the service into its mobile phones. Sounds like MobiWatch's offering will become another service in Jitterbug's Services Store -- its version of an App Store.
"The MobiWatch offering will be further developed by Jitterbug before coming to market. It will allow users to quickly and effectively reach trained emergency response personnel—whenever and wherever those situations may occur—directly through their Jitterbug phone," according to the press release. "The new Jitterbug M-PERS offering is scheduled to be available in late 2010. It will be supported by Jitterbug’s outstanding and friendly America-based 24x7 customer service representatives, as well as a fully-staffed independent call center of licensed paramedics and personal response agents."
For more read the full press release here
Jitterbug now profitable, on Verizon Wireless network
Jitterbug taps WellDoc, Meridian for mHealth
Jitterbug: Mobile Entertainment tech for mHealth
Sneak peek: What’s coming to Jitterbug’s “Service Store”