The Medical Alert that Helps People Feel All Snug and Safe

I’m diving into an app that works on an iPhone and Android, it’s called Snugly - or Snug Safety in the app store. I’ve used the free version for well over a year - and enjoy greeting the day with a prompt. 

It’s a medical alert -- and simple to use. However unlike many on the market, I don’t have to wear anything around my neck or on my wrist.

Barb Wood, Snug User says,  “I am a happily retired teacher, enjoying life in an exciting golf community. And while I have met many new friends in the past couple of years, I am a single female living in my home “alone.” I do not feel alone anymore because Snug checks in on me every morning on my iPhone. Snug knows who to contact in case I do not reply. I feel safe and “snug” when I go to bed every night.”

The Snug Story started with Jan

Jan isn’t your typical retiree living alone. She walks 6 miles a day, has biked in all 50 states, and leads a walking group in The Villages in Florida. She’s also a tech whiz who has an iPhone, Apple Watch, and teaches classes so other retirees can learn how to use their smartphones.

Jan shares the same concerns with many other single retirees. Living alone and with a health condition, she worries what would happen in a medical emergency.  She lives with a heart condition and has previously had a seizure while sleeping. She may not be able to call for help if something happens, and no one would know for multiple days. It could be too late by the time help arrives.

So, Jan went looking for a solution.

First she considered a medical alert bracelet like Life Alert, but didn’t like the expense, lack of innovation, or the style.

Jan decided to take things into her own hands by contacting the CEO of another app she used, Patronus. Jan said she needed an app that required her to check in every morning and call for help if she didn’t. Within days, the CEO sent Jan a few designs for a new service specifically designed for someone like her.

She was elated and gave her feedback. The team kept working on the app and asked Jan’s local Apple User Group to help test it. They were also the ones that named Snug.

The testing with the local Apple User Group went great:


  • 93% of the retirees who tested Snug felt more secure.
  • 90% said they would recommend Snug to others.


Thanks to Jan’s inspiration, Snug is available to help anyone living alone feel safer.

Snug initially launched June 2016, but the pilot began with a small group of users from The Villages, FL in May 2016.

Snug now helps seniors all across the country feel reassured every single morning. Snug has helped multiple people in an emergency, including one case where someone fell and was unable to reach their phone.

The value Snug provides is best captured by this quote from a customer:

“I worked at a computer serviced based company for 30 years. I've retired and now rely on your  service. It has changed my life and mental attitude towards living alone. Thank you.”  Vicki  

My Experience with Snug

I personally enjoy reading the daily inspirational quote that Snug sends via the check in screen each morning - 

And even more, I really appreciate that they don’t use scare tactics to advertise. Most of the competition are too heavy-handed, requiring a physical device that is only for alarms, and can be intimidating. And with those, there is not a free option for people seeking simple reassurance - so that’s prohibitive for those on a fixed or limited income. 

The developers asked me: How do you see the "emergency check-in" market growing? 

Thank you for asking - because the aging alone segment continues to grow, I believe older adults will come to depend on apps and other tech devices to help us feel more connected.

Being a solo ager, I’d like to see more “check-ins” throughout the day - for example, how about Snug popping in to text me a hello, or send a friendly reminder during the day that says, “have you gone outside today,” or "are you moving around? Remember, sitting most of the time is bad for your health… and joints."

It’s so simple:

  1. Just sign up by providing your name and address, then choosing your emergency contacts and daily check in time.
  2. Snug pings the user at their chosen time every day, prompting them to visit the app to “check in.”
  3. When you check in, yu receive an inspirational Quote of the Day and the 24 hour timer resets. If the user does not check in, Snug initiates an alert to make sure that they are ok:
  4. For users on the free plan, like me, Snug will send each of your emergency contacts a text message saying that you have missed your check-in.
  5. For users on the Snug Dispatch plan, a Snug dispatcher will call your cell phone and ask if you are alright.  If you do not pick up, they will leave a voicemail with a callback number. They will then proceed to call every one of your contacts, in order. If you have not checked-in by a certain time, and the dispatcher does not have confirmation that you are okay, or that one of your emergency contacts will check on you, they will dispatch a wellness check to your last known location.

If you become a Snug Safety customer, you could be chosen for their Community spotlight -- where they highlight you and ask for your answer about:

  • your personal superpower  
  • two things you’re looking forward to in the next 6 months?  
  • favorite books? 
  • how you judge success for the day? Any guiding principles? 
  • what are your favorite activities?

To me, the Snug Safety app brings a lot more light heartedness than any other alert out there. But like anything, apps have their limits and each of us needs to know our health conditions and to learn the deficiencies of a product before we rely on one to keep us safe. Just make sure it addresses and meets YOUR needs. 



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