TMCnet Feature
May 15, 2012

Apps for the Elderly on the Android Ecosystem

By David Gitonga, TMCnet Contributing Writer

The launch of the Doro (News - Alert) Phone Easy 740 at the CTIA 2012 may well be the start of devices that specifically target seniors. The phone, manufactured by a company called Doro, runs on the Android (News - Alert) operating system and is probably one of the simplest Android phones around. Its simplicity however is its selling point. The phone comes with a big touch pad, a simple interface and louder volume. It’s easy to use and yet it’s able to run Android apps. It’s slated for release in spring 2013 and is expected to debut at $99.

Thanks to the flexibility of Android, the ‘Doro Experience’ includes visibly large icons and an app called “Doro Manager”, which helps manage information like appointments into the calendar. The Android ecosystem has proved to be flexible even on different levels, most notably on the Kindle Fire tablet, which showcases a heavily tweaked Android version. The Samsung Galaxy S III also comes with a tweaked Android operating system that runs non-Google (News - Alert) products from Samsung.

There are already many useful apps for the elderly on Google Play store. Some of these feature large home screens, big buttons and large fonts even for basic functions like SMS. In addition, the apps load automatically on startup. Some apps like Safety NET (News - Alert) can monitor a sudden fall by use of the accelerometer. When it is triggered, a text message can be sent to a personalized emergency contact number or dial a number and allow you to talk to the person. To avoid false alerts, a countdown timer is in place. The app goes for $0.99.

The Rescue Me! App offers similar functionality to Safety NET except that it also helps to monitor someone by sending a “rescue me” text message at specific times of the day. The elderly one will need to deactivate it within a set time frame otherwise something may be wrong. Other helpful apps include WebMD for Android, iTriage, Epocrates and CPR Choking among others.

Edited by Brooke Neuman
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