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Great Call
GreatCall, Inc. Logo
Company TypeConnected Health
FounderArlene Harris
HeadquartersSan Diego, California, United States
Key PeopleDavid Inns, CEO

GreatCall is a connected health technology company based in San Diego, California. GreatCall offers health and safety products and services for older adults,[1] including mobile devices, cellular service, mobile apps and a wearable device. The company provides US-wide cellular service as a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) through the Verizon Wireless network.


GreatCall was founded in 2005 by Arlene Harris to provide aging adults with accessible technology and services.[2] In the same year, the company launched the original Jitterbug phone.[3] In 2009 the company launched Live Nurse (now Urgent Care). In partnership with FONEMED, it provides customers with access to registered nurses 24 hours a day.[4]

In 2011, GreatCall added the app MedCoach, which provides daily medication management.[5] That same year, it introduced the 5Star Urgent Response (now known as GreatCall Splash), a mobile Personal Emergency Response System device, along with 5Star Medical Alert System, which uses GPS technology and advanced location analysis to connect users with emergency certified 5Star Agents.[6]

In 2012, the company released the Jitterbug Touch, a keyboarded Android phone with a simplified user interface.[7]

In 2014, the company added an alerting app, Link.[8] In November 2015, the firm acquired Lively Inc.

On June 7, 2017, GreatCall announced that it was being acquired by the private equity firm GTCR.[9] In turn, GreatCall was acquired by electronics retailer Best Buy on August 15, 2018 for $800 million. The purchase is part of a corporate initiative "to enrich lives through technology by addressing key human needs".[10]

Awards and Recognitions[edit]

  • In 2006, the Jitterbug cell phone was recognized in New York Times tech journalist David Pogue's Top 10 Brilliant Ideas [11] and Reader's Digest 100 Best Products.[12]
  • In 2007, the company won the wireless industry's Andrew Seybold Choice Award for "Best New Wireless Company"[13] at CTIA, the Cellular Telecommunications and Internet Associations design award, and was recognized as a finalist for CES's Last Gadget Standing Competition.[14]
  • In 2008, it received the Stevie Award for "Best Overall Company" ,[15] the American Society on Aging's Award for "Best Small Business" .[16]
  • In 2009, TripleTree selected GreatCall as the winner for "Best Consumer Experience" and GreatCall's LiveNurse application (now Urgent Care) received the CTIA Hot for the Holiday's "Hottest Mobile Consumer Application" award.[17] In 2010, LiveNurse also received the CTIA Hot for the Holiday's "Hottest Mobile Consumer Application" award.[18]
  • In 2014, The company Link app won the Today's Caregiver's "Caregiver Friendly Award" .[19]
  • In 2016, the Lively Wearable was recognized in The Wall Street Journal's "Best Of CES 2016: The Wondrous and Wacky Year Ahead in Gadgets" [20]
  • In 2016, the Jitterbug Flip was featured in the Wall Street Journal article on simple phones and was the editor's phone of the lot[21]. The same year, it was also recognized in PCMag as Editor's Choice for simple cell phones[22]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Miller, Jim (November 26, 2014). "Personal Tech Products Designed Specifically for Seniors". Huffington Post.
  2. ^ Mitroff, Sarah (May 28, 2014). "GreatCall's Splash and Jitterbug5 help seniors stay safe and connected". CNET.
  3. ^ Lewis, Peter (April 6, 2006). "Cellphones for kids – and seniors". Fortune.
  4. ^ Lee, Jacqueline (May 24, 2013). "No Copay Required: Patients Get Urgent Care Assistance From GreatCall App". Health TechZone.
  5. ^ Wong, George (June 28, 2011). "GreatCall MedCoach lets you manage your medication with your iPhone". Ubergizmo.
  6. ^ "Product Review: The 5Star Urgent Response from GreatCall". The Senior List. February 1, 2013.
  7. ^ Colon, Alex (November 29, 2013). "Jitterbug Touch (GreatCal)". PC Mag.
  8. ^ "GreatCall Link Supports Family Caregivers in Enabling Independence". BusinessWire. January 7, 2014.
  9. ^ "GTCR Announces Acquisition of GreatCall". PR Newswire. PR Newswire. Retrieved June 7, 2017.
  10. ^ "Best Buy just spent $800 million on GreatCall, the company that made the JitterBug phone". The Verge. Retrieved August 16, 2018.
  11. ^ Pogue, David (December 28, 2006). "Brilliant Ideas That Found a Welcome". The New York Times.
  12. ^ "Jitterbug Listed in Readers' Digest 100 Best Products – 2007". DYNA. January 1, 2007. Archived from the original on April 2, 2015. Retrieved March 31, 2015.
  13. ^ Seybold, Andrew (April 12, 2007). "Things are Getting Better for Customers".
  14. ^ "Yahoo! Tech Announces Winners of "Last Gadget Standing" Event at CES 2007". BusinessWire. January 10, 2007.
  15. ^ "Best Overall Company". Stevie Awards. 2008.
  16. ^ "Best Small Business". American Society on Aging. 2008. Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved March 31, 2015.
  17. ^ "Jitterbug LiveNurse Wins Best Mobile Consumer Application Award". BusinessWire. October 13, 2009.
  18. ^ "CTIA Announces Hot for the Holidays Awards Finalists". Bloomberg. September 20, 2010.
  19. ^ "Winner's Gallery". 2014.
  20. ^ Fowler, Geoffrey (January 6, 2016). "BEST OF CES 2016: The Wondrous and Wacky Year Ahead in Gadgets". The Wall Street Journal.
  21. ^ Fowler, Geoffrey (April 27, 2016). "Jitterbug Flip (GreatCall)".
  22. ^ Kumar, Ajay (May 31, 2016). "Jitterbug Flip (GreatCall)".