Switzerland, like many European countries, is aging, one-fifth of the population of Switzerland is over the age of 65. But, according to the OECD, Swiss citizens’ average life expectancy is an average of 86 years, one of the highest amongst OECD countries.
As people age their greatest desire is to ‘age in place,’ to live in their own home for as long as possible, and hopefully not have to be moved to an assisted living facility or nursing home. For those living alone as they age, the main concern of loved ones is that they may experience a fall or other injury while at home alone and unable to reach a phone or mobile.
Many seniors aging in place may not see relatives or have any other interactions for days, even weeks, but they still want peace of mind knowing that their elderly family members will be able to call for medical help if needed.
Founded by Swisscom in 2010 SmartLife Care is the most popular emergency call service in Switzerland. It is a joint venture from Swisscom and Helvetia since 2017 and an official partner for personal alarm systems of the Spitex organization.
They recently partnered with Zürich-based Mila which will provide installation, set-up, and tech support services to their base of over 25,000 customers. At least 85 percent of SmartLife Care’s customer base are people living alone, the remainder is mainly people living in assisted living facilities or medical rehabilitation facilities.
“Having a Mila Friend that goes into our customer’s homes to commission our system and conduct a trial run gives them added confidence in our product,” says Sabina Crameri, chief operating officer and chief marketing officer of SmartLife Care. “More importantly, Mila Friends will add a personal touch, which is a cornerstone of our customer service pillars, and is very important for those living alone or recovering from a serious injury or illness.”
Mila is the European leader in on-demand technical support operating in Switzerland, Germany, France, Austria, and the UK through Mila Friends and Mila Pros, vetted, trained technicians. Mila’s enterprise partners include over 35 global brands such as Google, Amazon, Apple, Bosch, Otto, Netgear, Netatmo, LEDVANCE, Swisscom, Logitech, and Brack.ch.
I ordered the SmartLife Care system in September 2021. After receiving it by post, I called on your technician, Mr. Jalel, who installed it and put it into service to my complete satisfaction. I'm very happy with my purchase and I use the Flex every time I leave the house. It's very convenient and gives me great security thanks to the list of saved contacts.
Personal Emergency Response Devices (PERS)
The Personal Emergency Response Device (PERS) market generated USD 6.8 billion in 2021 and is expected to grow to USD 11.1 billion by 2026 [Marketsandmarkets.com]. PERS alarms are small devices worn on the wrist or around the neck that allow someone injured or immobilized to alert professionals for assistance at the touch of a button.
Many seniors are still socially active and may not want a utilitarian-looking square box with a button dangling from their necks or on their wrists. SmartLife Care offers stylish designs in pieces more resembling jewelry, including bracelets, fashionable medallions, or stylish watches.
SmartLife Care products are not just devices, they encompass an entire system that is integrated with Securitas emergency services when friends or family may not be able to come onsite if an incident occurs, and a call centre operated by Medicall, the leading Swiss provider of emergency call services.
Technology is daunting to many seniors, Mila Friends makes it easy
The technology curve drops with most people over 55, where tasks such as installing an app or pairing a Bluetooth device – second nature for people who have grown up with the technology – may be daunting for seniors, especially those over 70.
“Mila has been helping seniors with technology since our inception, adding SmartLife Care to our Mila Friends services makes perfect sense,” says Chris Viatte, founder and CEO of Mila AG. “Our partnership with SmartLife Care will prove a successful endeavor with our shared values of excellent customer service and making technology work so people can not only benefit from it but enjoy it.”
Mila Friends are trained in commissioning SmartLife Care’s technology, they come onsite (or via remote videoconference) to install and configure the software that makes their devices work. They also explain in detail how to operate the device and walk the customer through the proper use of their device in a real-time trial run.
Mila’s services are a huge help to families who might spend hours getting their parent or grandparent up to speed with their devices. Many family members simply do not have the time to do this installation or may not have the skills.
Mila Friends serves as both a technical expert and a reassuring presence to SmartLive Care customers. They provide confidence that their devices will work, giving them added security, and peace of mind while building strong brand loyalty for both SmartLife Care and Mila.
Since 2016 Mila has been delivering real-time, vetted, on-demand neighborhood tech support. Mila expanded from Switzerland into new markets through a network of strong retail and enterprise partnerships, offering services in Germany, Austria, France, and the UK. With over 35 enterprise partners, Mila is the European leader of on demand, crowdsourced technical support.