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Lively could be the next big thing for elderly parents

SARASOTA, Fla. A group led by former Apple, Microsoft and eBay employees have unveiled Lively – a system of tiny sensors to help far-flung relatives know whether their elderly loved ones take their pills on time or exit the house.

The device has helped shrink the 350-mile distance between Phyllis Bek-gran, 89, and her son. Bek-gran has Lively sensors throughout her two-bedroom condo that log when she opens her refrigerator and exits the front door. The data is transmitted to a secure website for her youngest son, Peter, to view from his home in Key West.

“I also had one on my TV remote, because we all know if I didn’t pick that up, there’s something wrong with what’s going on in the world,” Bek-gran said with a laugh.

One day, Bek-gran didn’t open her pillbox by 11 a.m. An email alert popped into Peter’s inbox, and a red, frowning face replaced a green smiling one next to Bek-gran’s medication icon. Her phone soon began ringing; it was Peter, with a reminder to take her pills.

The system sells for $149, and there’s a $20 monthly fee. www.mylively.com. Bloomberg News

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