Keeping up with KeepUs

Updated 25 July

Last October we profiled a UK-developed mobile app in beta called KeepUs. We said at the time that it “when installed on an older person’s or a child’s Android smartphone, (it) allows a family member to monitor that person’s both indoor and outdoor activity. Using geolocation, the family member can see that person’s visits (locations can be labeled), level of activity on any given day, alerts (being idle for too long), how much time was spent at each named location over the past two weeks and trends over two months.” For this Editor, it has the potential to supersede PERS of both the traditional and mobile types since it is free/low cost and also fits into an accepted form factor (phone) which increasingly PERS is not. It’s now well out of beta and with some “commercial care institutions” (we are following up). Founder Tom Doris is now inviting 10,000 volunteers to download a free version of the app by going to keepus.com and following the instructions (see at the top ‘go ahead and install the app’ which will take you to Google Play). PDF release.

Update: A follow up with Mr Doris confirms that KeepUs has users in the US, UK, Ireland, India, Turkey, Australia and even Cambodia (!). He explains, “It works the same as you’d expect any normal app and website to work: as long as you have access, KeepUs works fine. It doesn’t need any special hardware, nor does it need any special support from the cellphone network operators.”

Depressed? A woman? There’s an app for that.

[grow_thumb image=”http://telecareaware.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/T47screen-166×300.png” thumb_width=”130″ /]A new app still under development, Thrive 4-7 (the 7 is the seven dimensions of health) is meant to be used as a supplement to traditional therapy (and presumably medication). The app ‘thrives’ on constant interaction and uses gamification (!), behavioral psychology and influential design to modify the user’s behavior, for instance by sending special messages at times of daily stress. The developers want to connect the app with wearables and peer support groups as well. However, the time of their in-market–best case scenario is a debut at the end of 2014– is dependent on FDA clearance if it’s required–yet to be determined. The business plans, depending on this, may be direct to consumer or sold through health plans, hospitals and employer groups. The therapist you sleep with (MedCityNews) does seem like encouraging an unhealthy behavior, though.

KeepUs–smartphone-based senior activity monitoring and telecare

KeepUs is a new, free app developed in the UK that when installed on an older person’s or a child’s Android smartphone, allows a family member to monitor that person’s both indoor and outdoor activity. Using geolocation, the family member can see that person’s visits (locations can be labeled), level of activity on any given day, alerts (being idle for too long), how much time was spent at each named location over the past two weeks (if Uncle Ted is spending three hours every day at the pub), and trends over two months. It requires no action from the person being tracked other than to carry the smartphone (certainly less obtrusive than a bulky non-removable watch). The family member/carer installs the app on both phones and controls permissions to view the other person’s activity. The app is in beta, free for individual use in the UK. (more…)