Smartphone for Seniors Gets Smarter with Health Monitoring

September 17, 2019

Christine Young  By: Christine Young
 Blogger, Maxim Integrated 


Smartphones are typically designed to be somewhat intuitive and easy to use. But is this truly the scenario for everyone? In many cases, the settings of popular phones on the market need to be adjusted to accommodate users of different capabilities. Then there are models like the Raku-Raku Smartphone F-01L. Developed by Fujitsu Connected Technologies Limited, the Raku-Raku Smartphone is designed from the ground up to be easy to use, particularly for those who are new to touchscreen operations. So it’s no surprise that it is considered ideal for first-time smartphone users and popular with seniors. In fact, “raku-raku” translates to “easy to use” in English.

The Raku-Raku Smartphone features a large screen and text and a simplified menu. Operating its touchscreen comes with the feel of pressing buttons. It also responds to voice commands and is waterproof. Now, the phone has gained additional intelligence with the ability to measure stress levels and arterial aging. The health monitoring capabilities are made possible, in part, by Maxim’s MAX30101 heart-rate and pulse-oximetry sensor for wearable health applications.

The MAX30101 features internal LEDs, photodetectors, optical elements, and low-noise electronics with ambient light rejection. It operates on a single 1.8V power supply and a separate 5.0V power supply for the internal LEDs, with communication via a standard I2C-compatible interface. The IC is available in a 5.6mm x 3.3mm x 1.55mm, 14-pin optical module. For the Raku-Raku Smartphone, the MAX30101 uses sophisticated algorithms produced by Fujitsu Connected Technologies to enable heart-rate monitoring.

While more than 90% of adults ages 18 to 49 in the U.S. own a smartphone and nearly 80% of Americans between 50 and 64 have one, the figure is only at just over half of the U.S. population of people 65 and up, according to the Pew Research Center. Designing phones with features and capabilities that a wider range of the population would find convenient and comfortable to use, along with providing added benefits like health monitoring, could perhaps help drive smartphone adoption.

To learn more about the Raku-Raku Smartphone with MAX30101, watch this video.