"Larger [wireless] carriers don't think mobile health is 'here' yet," Jitterbug parent company GreatCall CEO David Inns said during a presentation at the Mobile Health 2010 event at Stanford last month. "That's great news for us."
Inns explained that while the 65 year old and older demographic makes up about 15 percent of mobile users, the age group accounts for about 40 percent of all healthcare costs in the US.
"Getting people engaged at a simple level in their health can have a big impact," Inns said. "What's critical for gaining traction in the 65+ market is 'service'."
Inns pointed to a handful of Jitterbug's recently offered mobile health services and ticked off the number of users for each as well as some other interesting stats and the new name for its forthcoming mPERS offering.
First up was Jitterbug's Live Nurse offering. The pitch: "For only $4 per month, Jitterbug LiveNurse provides unlimited, 24-hour telephone access to friendly, registered nurses. This helpful service provides health care advice whenever you have questions or need information about your health and well-being. LiveNurse is free with all rate plans $29.99 and up."
Jitterbug's Live Nurse: 12,000 Users
Inns announced that the Live Nurse service has attracted 12,000 users in the six months since it first went live. Live Nurse has averaged about 4,000 calls per month. Inns said that about 91 percent of the callers ring the Live Nurse line and say they are unsure if they plan to or should visit their physician or an emergency room. The other 9 percent of callers said they did plan to either visit their doc or the ER. About half of those who called in with plans to visit their doc or ER decided the Live Nurse call answered their question and they no longer planned an immediate visit. Inns said that regardless of initial expectations, about 20 percent of Live Nurse callers do end up seeking medical attention within 24 hours.
Jitterbug's Wellness Calls: 1,000 Users
Jitterbug's Wellness Calls have attracted 1,000 users in just one month and they averaged about 20,000 total minutes during the month of wellness advice. The pitch: "The Jitterbug Wellness Call is designed to help you feel better, by providing personal tips and solutions for relaxation, motivation and overall well-being. Based on the groundbreaking work of world-renowned wellness expert and best-selling author Brian Alman, Ph.D., you’ll learn techniques to help you immediately and long-term. If you suffer from things like sleeplessness, stress, pain, loneliness or weight issues, these calls can help with just one 5-minute call per week. This service is FREE with all rate plans $29.99 and up."
Jitterbug's Heart Healthy Tips: 4,000 Users
Jitterbug's Heart Healthy Tips "This free service is brought to you in partnership with the American Heart Association’s Go Red For Women Movement. Every day you’ll receive guidance and helpful information on exercising, eating right and living a heart-healthy lifestyle." Inns said that this service now has 4,000 users after launching at CES at the beginning of the year.
Jittberbug's forthcoming mPERS offering: 5Star Emergency Response
Inns also disclosed the new name for Jitterbug's mobile personal emergency response service, 5Star Emergency Response. This service will launch this fall, Inns said. The PERS service follows on Jitterbug's acquisition of MobiWatch, which we first covered last November. 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 would then located via GPS and the call center can alert the police, ambulance or family members. Jitterbug plans to integrate that service into their handsets.
For more on David Inns' presentation, view his slides over at the Mobile Health 2010 site