Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Garmin and K4Connect use wearables to help seniors

Steve Rogerson
July 20, 2017



North Carolina-based K4Connect and Swiss company Garmin are collaborating on wearable technology to help older adults and individuals living with disabilities.
 
The plan is to integrate wearable devices as part of K4Community, K4Connect's connected-life platform. The first fully integrated Garmin activity tracker, Vívofit 3, is immediately available as part of K4Community, which is designed specifically for the residents and their families, staff and operators of senior-living communities.
 
This collaboration could deliver numerous benefits to senior-living residents, as well as community staff and operators. The integration provides residents with the tools they need to track their wellness and fitness information through the same K4Community application they use daily to foster simpler, healthier and happier lives.
 
Including Garmin devices as part of the capabilities encourages residents to live a more active and social lifestyle, while providing staff the information and tools to help their residents in achieve their personal goals.
 
According to a recent report from AARP, older adults are highly interested in using technology to help them track and improve their own health. In fact, over 75 per cent of participants in the study reported activity and sleep trackers to be useful.
 
"Residents walking together and comparing daily step counts helps foster socialisation and recent data show that isolation in seniors increases the risk of heart disease by 29 per cent,” said Scott Moody, CEO of K4Connect. “We're excited to be teaming with Garmin, and this is just the beginning of what we see as a long-term relationship, focused on serving older adults and those living with disabilities."
 
In addition to steps and activity levels, Garmin wearables can monitor heart rate, track sleep and provide other health and fitness metrics. The devices also provide minimal user friction given their long battery life, water resistance and seamless interface with K4Community.
 
"Connected wellness devices provide a huge opportunity for older adults to live a healthier life and incorporating the latest in advances in wearable technology from a renowned company like Garmin goes a long way towards helping us achieve our mission of serving older adults," said Moody. "K4Community is designed with a senior resident centric perspective, eliminating any potential barriers of enjoying the benefits of a fitness tracker."
 
Senior-living community staff members also have a view of real-time analytics showing activity and wellness trends, allowing them to provide better care and support.
 
"We have a deep passion to positively affect older adults' overall health and well-being and can now reach a broader audience through this collaboration," said Travis Johnson, lead product manager at Garmin Health. "Results from the initial deployments and pilots have been very good, accentuated by the older adult's overall high usage rate. We've also been inspired by K4Connect's mission and focus on serving others and look forward to making a difference in people's lives for a long time to come."