In Depth: The Claris Companion

Vancouver-based Claris Healthcare has recently released a tablet called the Claris Companion which is aimed at senior citizens who are not comfortable with technology. It’s a 10″ tablet that is encased in bamboo and has a dock and operates over WiFi. This gives it a high class feel and makes it easy to charge and use. All information is pushed to the device and automatically displayed with large buttons and text. Plus, the tablet can be configured remotely through a secure website by a tech savvy relative.

But what makes the Claris Companion different than other tablets is the fact that family members can send messages directly to the tablet and they can check to make sure that the senior in question is taking their medication and attending their doctor appointments. Wellness surveys can be scheduled that kindly ask the senior how they are feeling. The results can be trended over time and you can spot red flags. The use can check in to say that they’re okay and alerts can be generated if the check in doesn’t happen within a specified time. I’m just scratching the surface here and you should really check out their features list to see all the things that this tablet will do. One thing that isn’t there is security. Claris co-founder and CEO Geof Auchinleck (who incidentally, created the tablet for his 92 year old mother) spoke about the security of the tablet:

We have concentrated on security and privacy in developing Claris Companion. The last thing we want is the Nigerian Oil Minister sending letters to our senior clients. To make sure that they are insulated from spam and scams, only invited ‘contacts’ are permitted to send emails, texts or photos. This has proved effective in keeping the unwanted out of the inbox.

The Claris system has no advertising whatsoever. Tempting though it may be to deliver advertisers the high-value demographic of independent seniors, we just don’t want to go there. The down side of that is that we have to charge our users a monthly fee – we can’t support the service from advertising revenue. We believe this is the right way to go and hope our customers agree.

Nice! They could easily make a pile of cash but they choose to do the right thing. I’m impressed.

Now, the tablet has flexible pricing depending on if you want to rent it or buy it. Plus if you’re an institution, Claris can help you with that. I’d take a look at it if you have a senior who isn’t part of the digital revolution. Clearly this is a product that is a major game changer as I don’t know of another tablet on the market that is like this one.

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