FineThanx, an interestingly named service, takes a decidely low-tech but fresh approach to staying in touch with older adults or the disabled at home or on their cell phone. It’s a new automated service that calls your ‘special someone’ (as they put it) on a designated phone, up to twice daily. The automated announcement asks them to press 1 if OK (the ‘fine, thanks’), press 2 if not, where assistance might be needed. Email alerts then go to a predesignated ‘care circle’, which also happens if there is no answer after three attempts. What’s appealing about this is that the service uses something existing and familiar (a touch-tone phone) with no added equipment to create a wellness check-in–the ‘fine, thanks’ that is a ‘first step’, but often is all a family needs to know. The two founders, Rachel and Peter Scharff, developed this after a family crisis that a standard PERS couldn’t address. At present time, it is available in the US only. FineThanx website.