MERIDIAN HEALTH TEAMS UP WITH JITTERBUGR TO ASSIST CONSUMERS WITH MEDICATION COMPLIANCE

Contact:Michael Valentino
Phone:732-751-7538
Email:mvalentino@meridianhealth.com

MERIDIAN HEALTH TEAMS UP WITH JITTERBUGR TO ASSIST CONSUMERS WITH MEDICATION COMPLIANCE

Meridian Health proudly announced today that it will partner with GreatCall, Inc., creators of the Jitterbug simple cell phone and service, to provide an easy to use medication reminder program. Both companies agree that taking medication accurately each day is important for maintaining independence and quality of life. Wall-based Meridian Health is a not-for-profit health care provider that encompasses Jersey Shore University Medical Center and K. Hovnanian Children's Hospital in Neptune, Ocean Medical Center in Brick, and Riverview Medical Center in Red Bank.

A 90-day trial of the program is being planned to evaluate the effectiveness of using cell phones to deliver the medication reminders. Meridian Health is seeking 50 volunteers between approximately 55 to 70 years of age, who take medications up to 3 dosing times per day to participate in the trial. For the trial period, volunteers will be provided with complimentary Jitterbug Dial cell phones and service, and will receive calls on their Jitterbug to remind them to take their medications at designated dose times.

Jitterbug cell phones have won numerous awards for their ease of use and simplicity and have been specially designed for anyone who wants a simple cell phone experience. Key features of the Jitterbug cell phones include large, backlit and bright easy-to-see buttons, a bright screen with large text for easy viewing, a soft ear cushion and powerful speaker to make the sound loud and clear. The Meridian Health pilot study will evaluate how a patient's medication compliance could increase by using automated reminder calls made to Jitterbug phones.

"According to a survey conducted by the National Community Pharmacists Association, nearly three out of every four Americans do not always take their medicine as directed, resulting in people getting sicker and experiencing more and longer hospital stays," says Sandra Elliot, Director of Consumer Technology and Services Development at Meridian. "This takes its toll on an individual's health and quality of life, and has been estimated to cost the nation approximately $177 billion annually in direct and indirect health care costs. Through this pilot study, we hope to find another opportunity where an innovative use of existing technology could assist our community in staying healthy."

"We are very pleased to be partnering with Meridian Health to offer their customers the comfort, safety and ease of use to accurately take their medication as prescribed," said David Inns, Chief Executive Officer of GreatCall, Inc. "We have always believed that cell phones offer an exciting opportunity to provide a greater connection to health services, so this is a great opportunity for both companies to work together to achieve that goal."

In addition to the Jitterbug pilot study, Meridian is actively piloting new uses for leading edge digital, sensory, and common consumer technologies, to begin building an electronic health information bridge between patients, their physicians, and hospitals.

For more information about the program, or for consideration as a participant, please call Meridian Health at 1-877-222-2040.

About GreatCall, Inc. GreatCall, creator of Jitterbug, was founded by Arlene Harris, the first woman inducted into the "Wireless Hall of Fame", and Martin Cooper, the father of the first portable cellular phone. GreatCall's vision is to deliver easy to use, helpful and affordable cellular phones and life enhancing services, creating a new industry standard for simplicity and value. Jitterbug, created with worldwide leader Samsung, is sold nationwide through direct-to-consumer channels. Service coverage includes the U.S. and Canada. GreatCall is located in San Diego, CA. For more information, please visit www.jitterbug.com.

About Meridian Health Meridian Health is a not-for-profit health care organization comprising Jersey Shore University Medical Center and K. Hovnanian Children's Hospital, Ocean Medical Center, Riverview Medical Center, and Partner Companies that include home care agencies, rehabilitation and long term care facilities, ambulatory care, ambulance services, and occupational health located throughout Central New Jersey. Meridian Health has been named one of the top 100 Most Wired and top 25 Most Wireless Health Systems in the United States as well as one of best places to work in New Jersey. For more information, please visit www.meridianhealth.com

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