Husband and Wife Team Create Emergency Alert System for Apple Watch
Drs. Kristen and Shea Gregg have created an emergency alert app for the Apple Watch inspired by their personal experience caring for Kristen’s 99-year-old grandmother, Joanna Karpowicz. Karpowicz, a lifelong gardener, was eager to retain her independence and “not [listen] to what anyone tells her to do”, which prompted the couple to found ElderCheck Now to ease family concerns about her safety.
The app uses the Apple Watch to provide a simplified communication platform and share information, such as location and heart rate, with loved ones or caregivers.
Elders can initiate the check-in feature by tapping the app on the watch, which will then display a screen asking the question, “Are you OK?” From there, they can select one of two options: a green button that reads, “I’m OK,” or a red button that reads, “Call Me!”
The response will be sent to a caregiver. Conversely, caregivers can also send requests to elders and prompt them to check in…
Karpowicz said that she enjoys the app because it allows her to keep in touch with her family on a regular basis.
“It provides you with safety,” Karpowicz said. “You’re secure because you just have to have the [mental] facility … to punch the right place [on the watch] to get you help.”
The couple is now focused on developing an app called FallCall Now, which will detect falls and signal for help when they happen.
Gregg said that the Apple Watch allows families to take advantage of technology and provides an alternative to call-button lanyards or fee-based emergency alert systems.
“I think people really … are starting to embrace the idea of a software solution instead of a hardware solution [and] using things that people already have,” Gregg said.