This week on #CareTech Conversations we speak to Dimitry from KISA.
"KISA stands for Keep It Simple Always. That’s our motto. Make things as simple as possible."
We manufacture mobile phones that are designed specifically to help people that are not capable of using modern mobile phones
CS: How did you come up with the idea?
Dimitry: It started with personal experience. My wifes grandfather used to deliver newspapers and then alzheimers set in and he got lost. He had two smart phones and couldn’t use either. He somehow managed to dial us and said I am lost and then he got disconnected and we jumped in the car and it was a really big scare. We started looking if there was a phone that was simpler to use as prior to that we spent a lot of time trying to teach him how to use a smart phone.
CS: Have you done it all on your own?
Dimitry: I was lucky enough to have two friends who decided to come on a journey with me and it took us two years working full time. Three of us worked full time.
Well over three years without any profit
It was self funded, we mortgaged our houses. We had a vision how we want the company to operate. We really want to help people. It has grown from 3 of us to 10.
CS: Tell us about the technology behind the KISA phone
Dimitry: The phone itself has no screen and no keypad and each one is manufactured to order. There are mechanical buttons. If the phone is ordered for a young person with physical and/or intellectual disabilities, they can put mum, dad, home but if they are unable to read they can put photos.
CS: Who can use the phone?
Dimitry: The pre requisite for using the phone is the physical ability to press a button, the same force that is needed to press a button on a TV control.
They also need to have the ability to speak or listen. We do have end users unable to verbalise but they can still hear.
The phone is good for people who are visually impaired – there is high contrast design which is suitable for some individuals. If they can’t see at all we can manufacture brail onto the buttons.
CS: Tell us some stories about some of the users of the phone
Dimitry: We have a really lovely young man with intellectual disabilities. He lived with his family until he was 16 or 17 and now he cant see them every day. His mum got him a KISA phone ( we are approved under NDIS) she would call him every evening and eventually even managed to get him to say "love you mum" when they hung up.
On a different scale we have a customer who lives in Queensland and her dad is in Victoria. He has a KISA Phone and an emergency button. He was in the house and had a nasty fall. All he had to do was press the button but because it was a singe purpose device and he doesn't use it all the time he didn't think to use it, but he did use the KISA phone. He called his daughter using the phone and she understood what was happening and called an ambulance. In her own words “ the outcome could have been different”
It is this story in particular which highlights why the KISA phone is so good in emergencies. Houses now have all these gadgets and when you need them, in times of stress, you don’t think to use them. We think to use the daily devices we use everyday.
CS: What's next in product development for KISA?
Dimitry: We are constantly working on improving the phone. We added the ability to GPS track the phone. A lot of custoners been asking for it, so we saw it as a vital service. However GPS is very complex. With KISA we are constantly working on the accuracy, the speed.
Its so useful for families, for example a family has a son with an intellectual disability, he missed his bus and they found him in Melbourne at the airport 18 hours later. They came to see us 5 days after that, ordered the phone and now the family has peace of mind as it is so simple that they can see where he is and where he has been.
To find out more about KISA phones visit: