Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Garmin and K4Connect bring activity tracking to seniors

Steve Rogerson
August 3, 2017

Swiss company Garmin is extending its traditional activity tracker market to seniors following a deal with North Carolina-based K4Connect. The aim is to encourage an active, social lifestyle for older adults.
K4Connect brings together technologies to create ways to serve and empower older adults and individuals living with disabilities. The collaboration with Garmin aims 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, K4Connect’s offering designed specifically for the residents and their families, staff and operators of senior-living communities.
“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.”
This collaboration is said to 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 continuously through the same K4Community application they use daily to foster simpler, healthier and happier lives. Including Garmin devices as part of the K4Community capabilities encourages residents to live a more active and social lifestyle, while providing staff the information and tools to help their residents achieve their personal goals.
According to the recent report from AARP, older adults are highly interested in using technology to help them track and improve their own health. In fact, over three quarters of participants in the study reported activity and sleep trackers to be useful.
In addition to steps and activity levels, Garmin wearables can also monitor heart rate, track sleep and provide other health and fitness metrics. The devices have a long battery life and are water resistant. Senior-living community staff members gain a view of real-time analytics showing activity and wellness trends, allowing them to provide better care and support.
“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 Scott Moody, CEO of K4Connect. “K4Community is designed with a senior resident centric perspective, eliminating any potential barriers of enjoying the benefits of a fitness tracker. Moreover, 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. 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.”