As online GreatCall reviews almost unanimously claim, this company is one of the leading and most reliable manufacturers of cutting-edge wearable medical alert systems. Established in 2006 by Arlene Harris, a renowned inventor of wireless devices, it has been providing some essential hardware and software solutions for more than a decade.
The event that triggered the development of this company happened that same year: the introduction of their first Jitterbug phone. After that, they kept improving their system and introducing new, practical medical features. In line with that, the Urgent Care feature was started in 2009 (known as Live Nurse at the time) and then in 2011 the MedCoach app was launched.
Furthermore, the GreatCall medical alert company launched the Link app in 2014, and at the end of 2015, they bought Lively Inc. At the moment, they’re part of Best Buy Co., Inc., which acquired them in August 2018 for $800 million.
In our GreatCall review, we’ll introduce you to this company’s complete lineup of products as well as their unique features such as their excellent emergency response center. To help you weigh your options, we’ve also included a quick overview of the pros and cons of choosing this company. This medical alert system provider also offers other benefits, like for example, GreatCall phone plans. Let’s dive right in.
GreatCall Medical Alert Systems
Lively Mobile is, strictly speaking, GreatCall’s only proper medical alert system. It’s a wearable medical device that comes with integrated GPS technology. Also, it’s waterproof, but for a limited amount of time (and water): it can stay undamaged for as much as 30 minutes in max 3.3 feet of water.
In the case of an emergency, the only thing you need to do is push the Urgent response button, and you’ll immediately get in touch with one of their 5Star agents, which is also the name of their emergency response center.
What also makes GreatCall Lively Mobile a highly practical device, especially for older people with more serious health issues, is fall detection (available in the Ultimate package). Much like the AutoAlert technology present in Philip’s Lifeline models, this technology can also recognize sudden movements so that the help center is automatically notified in such a situation. Being a wearable device, people can wear it on a keychain or a wristband. Also, it comes with a magnetic lanyard, which makes it suitable to be worn around the neck.
To activate your device you can Google for “GreatCall/activate,” and they will walk you through a few easy steps. What’s more, you can also keep your Lively Mobile in the protective case and attach it to your waist belt, like one of those old-school mobile phones. For a more in-depth look, read our detailed GreatCall Lively Mobile review.
Another medical alert device from this provider, Lively Wearable is basically an Urgent Response button that can be paired with a smartphone. All you have to do is download the GreatCall Link app, and you’re all set. If you don’t feel well, press the button to establish a connection to one of the 5Star operators.
When you’re put through to talk to an agent, they’ll ask you about your location and the situation you’re in to make an evaluation of their next move. Moreover, it can give your family peace, because they too can be notified if you call 5Star for help.
Whether you’re near the headquarters of GreatCall, Carlsbad, CA, or anywhere else in the country, they’ll be able to locate you and send help. Just like the other Lively device – Lively Mobile – this one has the fall detection feature, as well. Usually, the systems that come with fall detection technology also come with high price tags, but similarly to the Bay Alarm medical GPS alert system, Lively Wearable also ranks as one of the most affordable alarm systems of its kind.
What also makes Lively Wearable so convenient is the fact that you don’t have to charge it. In this case, you access the GreatCall network via your smartphone. The phone and the Lively Wearable device are connected through a Bluetooth connection. That’s why you need to download their app to your phone. Needless to say, make sure that your smartphone is always properly charged. Apart from being a medical alert device, it can serve as a fitness tracker, i.e., the app can track the number of steps you make daily.
One of the simplest and most affordable smartphones on the market, GreatCall Jitterbug Smart2 covers both bases: it’s a smartphone and a medical alert device.
With a 13.0-MP main camera, a 5.0-MP front camera and 16-GB of storage capacity, it’s a useful phone. It comes with the M4/T4 rating hearing aid compatibility, which is another practical advantage of this device for older people. The navigation is straightforward and adapted to older people’s needs. All the features are arranged as a list, written in large letters and numbers.
This device also comes with the GreatCall Link app, which is a useful tool to keep your family members up to date with your current condition and health. Everybody who downloads this app will get a notification in case you make a phone call to the 5Star service. Also, they’ll be receiving information on your daily activities, as well as your location. That way, they’ll stay up to date with everything happening to you during the day.
Of course, just like any other device from this manufacturer, Jitterbug Smart2 comes with the 5Star button for a fast connection with their agents. Also, you can choose from different GreatCall plans to make this device suit your calling and texting needs.
GreatCall Jitterbug Flip
If you want a simple and sturdy mobile phone/medical alert device, then Jitterbug Flip is the right choice for your needs. With the 1-GB built-in storage space and a 2.0-MP camera, it works just fine as a mobile phone, while it also provides you with seamless medical supervision and fast connectivity.
One of the key advantages of this traditional mobile phone are the keys on the keypad. They’re big enough for all sorts of users to be able to see the buttons and use them even if their hands are shaking. Those with sight issues will appreciate the backlight on the keypad.
Also, the GreatCall engineers made an effort to enhance the usability of this device for users with hearing problems. As a result, the improved Jitterbug speaker brings a crystal clear, loud sound.
Due to its simple but sleek design – the phone is available in graphite and red color options – the Jitterbug Flip is suitable for various types of users. Just like any other product of this manufacturer, it has the magic 5Star button, which you need to press in case of an emergency.
What Carrier Does Jitterbug Phone Use?
When Jitterbug was firstly released, the only options users had were either to call “Home,” “Operator” or “911.” Although it was designed to suit the needs of elderly adults, even they like to call someone else every now and then. Luckily, back in 2009, GreatCall Inc and Verizon Wireless, the most reliable wireless network operator in the country, announced their collaboration. GreatCall is a mobile virtual network operator, which means they don’t have their own network and had to include a third-party provider. That being said, if you didn’t know the answer to “Is Great Call part of Verizon?,” the answer is yes!
This device comes with a built-in speaker that enables 2-way communication. In an emergency, you can speak into the microphone and hear the feedback from the agent you’re talking to.
Logically, there’s a 5Star button that will quickly establish a connection with those operators. What’s great about this device is that it’s waterproof, meaning that you can have a shower with your Splash. Still, every GreatCall Splash review will warn you to be careful if you go swimming with it because it wasn’t intended to be used underwater for a prolonged period of time.
After all, if you’re in need of a fully water resistant device, check out Medical Guardian Active. The Splash also comes with amplified GPS technology, which makes it easier for the medical service to find you, i.e., your location. With more advanced packages, you get fall detection, which has turned out to be an extremely valuable feature for many users.
Although no longer available on Greatcall.com, Walmart and Amazon sell Splash devices, together with some other retailers. Overall, we believe that this device is one of the most cost-effective medical alert buttons. It works anywhere as long as it is within Verizon network cover range. If you are looking for a light and small device you can give this one a try.
GreatCall Call Center Review
As we’ve pointed out several times in this review, users establish the connection with any of numerous 5Star agents by pressing the help button on any of these devices. When we were testing different features of these medical assistants, we also checked the response time of their operators. The average time in our experience was 15 seconds. This is astonishingly fast, especially when compared to, for example, LifeFone which scored an average time of 45 seconds.
What’s more, the GreatCall customer service is swift and responsive. Also, you won’t have to pay for a call to this service if you’re calling from the US. However, if the operator provides you with a certain service, the price is 99 cents a call.
Another important thing that we’d like to mention here is that the agents we talked to were able to confirm our location in less than 15 seconds, as well. This is also something users should take into account when they’re choosing a medical alert system. Sometimes every second is of utmost importance. Last, but not least, you can choose to reach 911 directly through your device, which is another perk of their system.
When it comes to customer support, you can reach them at all times, and if you are wondering what is the phone number for GreatCall that’s 800-733-6632.
Pros & Cons
What makes this medical alert service truly great is the number of options they offer, as well as the speed at which they handle their users’ requests and calls. Aside from reacting in a matter of seconds, the trained personnel is professional, friendly, and invested into helping you out.
Each and every device we’ve tested is user-friendly and offers loud and clear communication. A few of their products double as a cell phone and medical alert systems. You needn’t worry about what network does GreatCall use, because they use Verizon Wireless, the most reliable network provider out there!
It’s also possible to set different medication reminders on most of these devices. While reviewing other companies and their output, this option was not always available. Automatic fall detection is available on most of them as well, and its quality is almost as good as the AutoAlert fall detection found in Philips’ GoSafe2.
Furthermore, when you register to your MyGreatCall account, you are provided with your personal GreatCall login information that lets you use all the benefits of this medical alert system. Finally, the design of these products is simple but attractive so people of different generations should be glad to use them.
What we also consider an advantage over other medical alert buttons we’ve reviewed so far, is the fact that there is no cancellation fee. However, we noticed there was some confusion regarding the cancellation process while we were going through customers’ feedback. If you are struggling with questions such as “How do I cancel Great Call?,” simply give them a call.
One of the major drawbacks of this company are additional activation fees. Also, some really useful and practical features are available only in the Ultimate package. While you can choose whether or not you want to use them, some affordable packages could contain at least fall detection.
The largest number of GreatCall reviews we’ve come across, as well as our tests, have proven that this medical alert system company offers one of the most comprehensive services of such kind on the market. It’s fast, responsive, and innovative in its functionality and design. Due to three different service packages, everybody can find what they need and easily pay for those services. For all these reasons, it’s one of the most reliable, popular and much to our liking – easily accessible.