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October 30, 2017 Issue

CEOCFO MAGAZINE

 

Q&A with Dr. Shea Gregg, Founder of Fallcall Solutions, LLC. bringing to market the First Smart Fall Detection System for Elders and Caregivers built exclusively for Apple Watch and iPhone

 

 

Dr. Shea Gregg

Founder

 

Fallcall Solutions, L.

www.fallcall.com

 

Interview conducted by:

Lynn Fosse, Senior Editor, CEOCFO Magazine, Published – August 30, 2017

 

CEOCFO: Dr. Gregg, what is Fallcall Solutions?

Dr. Gregg: FallCall Solutions is a company that simplifies communication between elders and caregivers on mobile ecosystems. It was born out of my work as a trauma surgeon and this is my tenth year of practice. I got frustrated with rising numbers of elder trauma victims that were frequently found on the floor after long periods of time and did not have the ability to call for help because they either didn’t wear their “emergency call button” or were too embarrassed to use the unwieldy technology. It’s well known in traumatic injury that when you present in a delayed fashion to the hospital with injuries, you can potentially have worse outcomes. Your kidneys could fail, you could develop pneumonia and a whole host of other problems. As a result of the horrible situations I was seeing in the clinical arena and the complaints I was hearing from caregivers that current technology was inadequate, I wanted to start a company that would really change caregivers’ and elders’ communication patterns. By building software solutions specifically for Apple Watch and iPhone, I believe we can stimulate that change.

 

CEOCFO: What is different about the FallCall system?

Dr. Gregg: Our app, FallCall Now, is different in that it will be a research-backed, patent pending “smart” software solution built specifically for a platform that is already widely distributed. So many other companies are trying to build hardware and software solutions that set out to dominate the personal emergency response system market. I never understood that model because there are major companies such as Apple that have distribution already. There are an estimated thirty million+ Apple Watches that have been sold to date. As far as owner demographics, it is estimated that Boomers own about 20% of those watches. I wanted our company to build strictly software based-solutions on what many people are calling attractive and easy to use devices where the technology was already adopted. With distribution being taken care of, we can focus on creating apps that are extremely simple to use and include single icon pushes, automation, deep learning and machine learning. When development is complete, I believe we can offer something that does not really exist on the market.

 

CEOCFO: Where are you in the process?

Dr. Gregg: At this point, we have our first app that is on the app store right now that is called ElderCheck Now. That was our entry into the elder tech arena and helped us learn a lot about developing on the Apple platform. ElderCheck Now is a free app that allows a caregiver and an elder to securely pair with one another and with the press of a single button on Apple Watch or iPhone, a caregiver can “check in” with their loved one. The elder can answer the check-in with the press of a button to send their heart rate and location information in addition to whether they are “ok” or would want a phone call in return. Such an interface is valuable because a caregiver can receive more information than one can actually relay with a phone call and is markedly simpler than text messaging. Our next product that has been in development and lab testing since February of 2016 is called “FallCall Now.” FallCall Now will be the first “smart” fall detection system built for Apple Watch and iPhone that is research-backed and patent pending. What I mean by smart fall detection is that it combines multiple capabilities that will contact the help you need in a tiered response fashion. At a basic level, users can push a manual button that places a call for help to caregivers and an emergency response service (with subscription). On another level, the app will be programmed to sense fall-related motion and will be able to distinguish between both low and high mechanism falls. If you have a low mechanism fall, such as falling from a sitting position or lower, FallCall Now will call just your caregivers automatically. If you fall from a standing or higher position, it will call your caregivers and activate a central monitoring agency that will call your watch directly to see if you need assistance. It will also combine aspects of machine learning and eventually deep learning that will actually be able to personalize fall detection and modify fall algorithms to be more specific to fall detection. Currently, FallCall Now is going through extensive quality assurance testing with our development team. We will be partnering with a University for further testing expected to being in the next couple of weeks. App release will be later this fall to early winter.

 

CEOCFO: What has been the reaction from people who have looked at or used the device?

Dr. Gregg: The reaction has been excitement! As an entrepreneur, when your community gets excited about something you have been dreaming about for five years, it validates all the time, energy and investment that has been put into a product. Some of the reactions include excitement about having fall detection built on a device that is as attractive as Apple watch itself. Such a device does not stigmatize those over the age of 65 given that all age groups wear it. Some people say they feel young when they wear it. I have also heard that this is a “neat” device that allows an elder to tell the time and see pictures of their grandchildren and kids on it. The addition of fall detection on it would be “great,” especially if the fall detection app is automated and easy to use. As for the app itself, it has received some attention from local and national press. It has won an innovation award from CT Next and CT Innovations. It has also received attention from various websites and we have been successful with our crowd funding efforts. From an investment standpoint, we raised a successful pre-seed round. That provided us with enough runway to build out FallCall Now. Between people who have seen Apple Watch and people who have heard about the app, I have received numerous emails from folks saying they cannot wait until it comes out because they have loved ones who have fallen and they will not wear their current devices. This app could be the answer that they are looking for. We are looking forward to go to market with FallCall Now because of the reaction and the generalized need.

 

CEOCFO: Where does cost come into play?

Dr. Gregg: We wanted FallCall Now to be extremely competitive in the personal emergency response system marketplace as far as subscription fees and app purchase fees. This was very important to me as a physician because people can be on fixed incomes. Additionally, the cost of the devices that will run the app must be considered. As a result, we anticipate that the app will cost approximately $5 to download with a $15 dollar a month optional subscription fee to connect with a central monitoring agency. This price point will be very competitive compared to other systems that are out there.

 

CEOCFO: What is the strategy at Fallcall for the next year or so?

Dr. Gregg: The strategy is to ensure that the highest quality fall detection app will come to market. We look forward to the feedback of our customers that will be using it and we will continually update it and simplify it even more based on this feedback. As the technology evolves, we want to grow with the technology as well. As background, FallCall Now was envisioned years ago. Early operating systems didn’t allow us to build a continuous fall detection system at the time.  Interestingly, we even filed provisional patents before the technology could support our vision of fall detection. Since then, current Apple Watch operating systems and new cellular-based watch capabilities have been developed and are available. The result: we now have the ability to build FallCall Now and move it forward, which is beyond exciting. Our short-term goals over the next few months are to continue to ensure quality through research, to raise money to execute our go-to-market strategy and to finally deliver the app to our customers. It is my greatest hope that people will use this, will find it easy to use and that it will potentially change some of the negative perceptions of fall detection technology.


 

“FallCall Now will be the first “smart” fall detection system built for Apple Watch and iPhone that is research-backed and patent pending.”- Dr. Shea Gregg


 

Fallcall Solutions, LLC.

www.fallcall.com

 

Contact:

Shea C. Gregg, MD

203-736-7647

administrator@fallcall.com



 


 

 



 

 


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