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Great Call
GreatCall, Inc. Logo
Company Type Private
Founded 2005
Founder Arlene Harris
Headquarters San Diego, California, United States
Key People David Inns, CEO - Brian Berning, CFO - Bill Yates, CMO - Jeff Polizzotto, VP Commercial Sales - Dean Williams, VP Technology - Lynn Herrick, VP & General Counsel - Krijn van der Raadt, VP Systems Development & IT

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. GreatCall provides nationwide 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 simple cell phones.[2] In the same year, the company launched the original Jitterbug flip phone.[3] In 2009, GreatCall launched Live Nurse (now Urgent Care). In partnership with FONEMED, Urgent Care provides customers with access to registered nurses 24 hours a day.[4]

In 2011, GreatCall added another app to its list of services called MedCoach, which provides daily medication management.[5] That same year, GreatCall 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]

Also in 2011, John Walsh became the official spokesperson for GreatCall.[7] In 2012, GreatCall released its first smartphone, the Jitterbug Touch, a keyboarded Android phone with a simplified user interface.[8]

In 2014, GreatCall added another app called Link to its suite of safety applications.[9] In November 2015, GreatCall acquired Lively Inc.


Lively Mobile urgent response device[edit]

Lively Mobile is an easy-to-use mobile urgent response device, that uses GPS and location analysis to connect users with trained 5Star Medical Alert Agents. It is a waterproof device that clips onto a keychain or purse.[10]

Lively Wearable[edit]

Lively is a wearable device that connects activity tracking with mobile safety services. The device can be worn with either the wristband or around the neck with the lanyard and pairs with a smartphone via Bluetooth. It also features a one-touch button to connect to 5Star service in emergency situations.

Jitterbug Flip[edit]

The Jitterbug Flip phone brings connectivity and GreatCall's health and safety features to older adults, in a sleek new format. The Jitterbug Flip has an easy-to-use interface with bigger buttons and a larger bright screen. Jitterbug Flip offers GreatCall's health and safety features to users including one-touch access to personalized help with a dedicated urgent response button.

Jitterbug Smart[edit]

The Jitterbug Smart phone brings a new level of connectivity for older adults through simplicity and larger, brighter screens. The phone is easy to use, with faster data speeds and easy access to Internet, text and email. The new Jitterbug Smart gives customers access to built-in health and safety features, including 5Star urgent response service.

Mobile Applications[edit]


GreatCall's 5Star Medical Alert app provides users one button access to National Academies of Emergency Dispatch certified 5Star agents trained in CPR and other emergency procedures.[11]


The Link app connects those who use GreatCall's 5Star Medical Alert with their family caregivers.[12] It is designed to keep family caregivers informed and up-to-date regarding the health and safety of the user. The app provides alerts to caregivers when 5Star subscribers hit the button for help, shows the device's current power level, and shares a record of all calls made by the device carrier, as well as the status of each interaction that took place with one of 5Star agents. Additionally, the Link app utilizes GPS technology to pull location information and provides caregivers with on-demand updates to confirm that the carrier's daily routines are normal and appointments are kept.[13] Link is available on Android and iOS.

Urgent Care[edit]

The Urgent Care app provides users with access to registered nurses and medical professionals who can assess and diagnose the user's medical situation. The app contains a symptom checker, access to a medical dictionary, and bilingual services. The Interactive Symptom Checker tool allows individuals to identify symptoms and possible causes, to determine when to self-treat and when to contact a medical professional.[14]


The MedCoach app is a medication management application. The app's features include a list of current medications, pill reminder messages, access to one's pharmacy's website for order refills, and 24/7 email access to the company's HIPAA-compliant personal assistance services.[15]

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 [16] and Reader's Digest 100 Best Products.[17]
  • In 2007, GreatCall won the wireless industry's Andrew Seybold Choice Award for "Best New Wireless Company"[18] at CTIA, the Cellular Telecommunications and Internet Associations design award, and was recognized as a finalist for CES's Last Gadget Standing Competition.[19]
  • In 2008, the company received the Stevie Award for "Best Overall Company" ,[20] the American Society on Aging's Award for "Best Small Business" .[21]
  • 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.[22]
  • In 2010, GreatCall's LiveNurse™ application (now Urgent Care) received the CTIA Hot for the Holiday's "Hottest Mobile Consumer Application" award.[23]
  • In 2014, GreatCall's Link app won the Today's Caregiver's "Caregiver Friendly Award" .[24]
  • 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" [25]
  • 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[26]
  • In 2016, the Jitterbug Flip cellphone was recognized in PCMag as Editor's Choice for simple cell phones[27]
  • In 2016, CEO David Inns won EY's Entrepreneur Of The Year for Tech Services in the San Diego Region[28]

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. ^ "John Walsh, Human and Victim Rights Advocate Named National Spokesperson for GreatCall's New 5Star UrgentResponse Service". BusinessWire. December 13, 2011. 
  8. ^ Colon, Alex (November 29, 2013). "Jitterbug Touch (GreatCal)". PC Mag. 
  9. ^ "GreatCall Link Supports Family Caregivers in Enabling Independence". BusinessWire. January 7, 2014. 
  10. ^ Dolan, Brian (May 28, 2014). "GreatCall offers seniors a waterproof emergency response device, Lively". GreatCall. 
  11. ^ McFarland, Matt (November 19, 2014). "When an algorithm helps keep an eye on your grandparent". The Washington Post. 
  12. ^ Pai, Aditi (January 8, 2014). "GreatCall launches app for caregivers of 5Star users". MobiHealthNews. 
  13. ^ Verel, Dan (November 19, 2014). "Tech companies combine mobile health + artificial intelligence to track senior citizen users". MedCity News. 
  14. ^ Smith, Andrea (January 16, 2013). "This App Turns Your Phone Into a Virtual Urgent Care Center". Mashable. 
  15. ^ Belic, Dusan (June 30, 2011). "GreatCall's MedCoach iOS app makes medication management easy". IntoMobile. 
  16. ^ Pogue, David (December 28, 2006). "Brilliant Ideas That Found a Welcome". The New York Times. 
  17. ^ "Jitterbug Listed in Readers' Digest 100 Best Products – 2007". DYNA. January 1, 2007. 
  18. ^ Seybold, Andrew (April 12, 2007). "Things are Getting Better for Customers". 
  19. ^ "Yahoo! Tech Announces Winners of "Last Gadget Standing" Event at CES 2007". BusinessWire. January 10, 2007. 
  20. ^ "Best Overall Company". Stevie Awards. 2008. 
  21. ^ "Best Small Business". American Society on Aging. 2008. 
  22. ^ "Jitterbug LiveNurse Wins Best Mobile Consumer Application Award". BusinessWire. October 13, 2009. 
  23. ^ "CTIA Announces Hot for the Holidays Awards Finalists". Bloomberg. September 20, 2010. 
  24. ^ "Winner's Gallery". 2014. 
  25. ^ Fowler, Geoffrey (January 6, 2016). "BEST OF CES 2016: The Wondrous and Wacky Year Ahead in Gadgets". The Wall Street Journal. 
  26. ^ Fowler, Geoffrey (April 27, 2016). "Jitterbug Flip (GreatCall)". 
  27. ^ Kumar, Ajay (May 31, 2016). "Jitterbug Flip (GreatCall)". 
  28. ^ Bigelow, Bruce (June 22, 2016). "EY Names 6 Startup Leaders as San Diego Entrepreneurs of the Year". 

External links[edit]