GreatCall, the maker of the Jitterbug phone for seniors, introduced a new personal security service for its customers last week at CES 2011. Called 5Star, the service is designed to address security and health concerns that don't necessarily merit calling 911. For example, if you're walking alone in a park at night, you might feel unsafe, but there's no immediate need to call the police. If you have the 5Star service on your Jitterbug phone, you can call them to at least have someone there on the line. And if something does happen, 5Star will be able to triangulate your location via the phone's GPS and contact the appropriate authorities.
The 5Star service can also be used for answering your health or medical concerns. If you so choose, you can set up a health profile on the GreatCall Web site with your doctor's contact as well as any medical plan or medication information. You can then call up the 5Star service any time you have a health question, and the answer will be personalized to your particular situation. If the 5Star call does escalate to a 911 emergency, the service will automatically reach 911 dispatch, and provide emergency responders with your health profile. It will also contact your relatives if you have that information set up on your account.
The service is not cheap at $14.99 a month on top of regular monthly payments, but it's designed as a premium service for those who want the additional security. It will be available for all Jitterbug customers in February.