Care on call

Being a practicing trauma surgeon is “something that chose me,” says Shea C. Gregg, a Trumbull resident. The number one thing he sees in the operating room? People over 65 on blood thinners who’ve been injured in a fall.

According to Gregg, geriatric falls account for 29,000 deaths a year, while homicide-related firearm deaths are roughly half that number.

“I’m very engaged in trying to improve geriatric care,” he says. To this end, he has founded Fall Call Solutions LLC, dedicated to streamlining communications between elders and their caregivers — as they are called on his website.

“For years, 12 in practice, I have cared for elder patients,” says Gregg, whose wife and co-founder, Kristin L. Gregg, is an emergency room physician and niece of WAG Wanders columnist Debbi K. Kickham, who brought us this story. “The thing I found frustrating was that medical alert buttons are not used.” Gregg came up with what he says is a simpler solution. Fall Call Lite is a free app that seniors can download to their Apple Watches, iPhones or Androids. A press of a button or the sound of their voices and they’re connected with up to five caregivers, who get a read on their location, heart rate and that help is needed. The caregivers also receive updates on whether or not the seniors’ Apple watches are being used or require charging. 

There’s also a subscription service that’s $14.99 a month — $10 less than competitors — that hooks them into a dispatch center, which calls EMS. 

But why would seniors — not the tech savviest demographic — be inclined to download an app to a pricey smart watch or smartphone? It’s a clichéd question that Gregg says has been posed to him since 2015, three years before Fall Call was launched.

“The number one people purchasing Apple technology are people over age 65,” he says, adding that seniors are sometimes embarrassed to wear traditional medical alert bracelets and pendants, as they suggest a certain feebleness. 

Fall Call Solutions is also the creator of ElderCheck Now, a free app for the iPhone and Apple Watch that facilitates seniors getting in touch with loved ones.

Gregg has been interested in finding practical solutions to the needs of others since he was a 13-year-old, growing up in Nashua, New Hampshire. He earned a B.S. in neuroscience at Brandeis University and his M.D. from the Dartmouth/Brown Medical School Program. Gregg did his general surgery residency at Yale-New Haven Hospital and his surgical critical care fellowship training at R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore, Maryland. 

In 2020, he’s keeping his eye on new innovations that will continue to help seniors enjoy life to the fullest in their homes and travels.

“I appreciate the uniqueness of every day on the job and using all my creativity to solve problems.”

For more, email solutions@fallcall.com, call 203-736-7647 or visit fallcall.com.

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