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TELUS Health Companion – BYO Apple Watch

Back in 2019, I waxed poetically about the wonders of the Apple Watch Fall Detection feature, and now Canada is seeing its first commercial deployment of the service! TELUS Mobility Inc. has just introduced an advancement of its LivingWell Companion service featuring the Apple Watch called TELUS Health Companion.

Telus LivingWell Companion

TELUS Health Companion App Delivers

Out of the box, any Apple Watch Series 4 or higher has built-in sensors to detect if you’ve had a hard fall with the potential of injury. If it detects a fall, it will automatically bring up an interface that will allow you to dismiss the situation or swipe to initiate a call to emergency services. If you don’t respond, it will initiate a call on its own. If you don’t have a cellular-enabled Apple Watch, it will use your paired iPhone to make the call.

Where the TELUS Health Companion service comes into play is through its associated App. A 911 Call Centre is for life-threatening emergencies, with limited options. Once installed, instead of an automatic call to 911, the call is rerouted to TELUS’ Central Monitoring Station featuring trained professionals whose aim is to help you in more ways than 911 may be willing. Their operators undergo over 300 hours of training to respond to medical and non-medical emergencies.

The staff will work with you for the best course of action to take next, which could include an immediate call to first responders or to your designated emergency contacts. Regardless, whenever your Watch receives an indication of a fall and doesn’t get a response from you, emergency services are dispatched to your GPS location.  You are, of course, able to initiate an emergency call yourself through the Apple Watch Face, so don’t have to throw yourself down the stairs!

Telus Home Companion

TELUS Health Companion Plans – Skinning The Cat

Telus treats the new service as an add-on to an existing plan; so that is the prerequisite, you need to be an existing post-paid TELIS Mobility customer with an iPhone 6s or better. If you bring your own watch, a series 4, 5, or SE, it’s just a $30 add-on to compatible plans. This add-on idea gives us the most economical solution for say, an independent elderly member of the family.

Say you have a situation where Grandma Myrtle doesn’t want anything to do with one of “those dang newfangled cell phone thingies” or otherwise wishes to keep her $18 emergency flip phone. Though not officially endorsed in any way, if you have a supported plan (or just upgrade to one that does) you can purchase the add-on, and ship grandma an Apple Watch! All she has to do is call Telus who will assist her in installing the Telus Health Companion app onto the watch, input HER name, address, and emergency contacts, and she’s good to go. Better still, set it up for her BEFORE you give it to her. Even though your Telus Mobility Account has YOUR address and such, it’s the Watch App that has the wearers’ info.

One thing to note though, any voice calls or data is using YOUR account. So if Grandma gets in and makes a call from her watch to her grandkids, it’s using your plan. In this age of unlimited plans, it shouldn’t be much of a concern, but good to know.

The majority of users, though, will be spending a little more I’m afraid; a minimum of $115 in fact. Though this may be out of price range for some on a fixed income, the benefits of the LivingWell Companion service combined with the incredible Apple Watch make it worth it. The minimum plan that this watch can be practically attached to independently is the Peace Of Mind Connect plan for $85. Though there is an $80 version, that plan would require the $10 additional digital device connection fee. You can save $5 by going with the POMC plan, then taking the $30 add-on for LivingWell Companion.

It was stressed many times, that pricing depends on your province of residence and your current plan, so it’s best to call in and find out what your rep can do for you. I just so happen to have the greatest Telus rep EVER, so give Shane Lynen a call at ClearWest Solutions and he will happily help you out!

Subsidized Hardware Available

You are welcome to bring your own Apple Watch Series 4 or newer and iPhone 6s or newer if you have them or get a hand-me-down. But of course, Telus will happily subsidize the hardware for you and tack it onto your monthly bill. We ran some numbers with a rep, and that will get you the Apple Watch SE for an additional $24 per month, an iPhone SE2, 64GB for $25.63. This combination would be on a two-year term and run you a total, with the plan, of $165. It’s always best to call in as there may be some deals swung your way!

We had the opportunity to talk with TELUS PR and they stated,

“Customers with a TELUS post-paid mobility plan can get a brand new cellular enabled Apple Watch with TELUS Health Companion service for just $54/mo on a two year TELUS easy payment plan. This means after the two year period, the Watch is paid off, so the monthly payment will only be $40/mo thereafter to continue the service. Of course, a TELUS post-paid mobility plan is required, so if the customer has to get a new mobility plan then you are looking at $80/mo for TELUS’ Peace of Mind Mobility plan.” 

Telus Home Companion


TELUS Health Companion is priced very competitively but is a little expensive at the moment in our opinion. But, this is an introductory offer, and there is an indication that other plans may be introduced that support this add-on, with the hope there will be a more economical middle-ground approach. The extra expense is certainly worth it considering the other health features of the Apple Watch.

Anybody will benefit from the fitness features on the Apple Watch, from the light encouragement to stay active, the goal approach to closing your rings, and the wide variety of tracked workouts including a simple walk. In our later years, this becomes even more important; stay fit, stay healthy, keep feeling young!

It’s been proven time and time again it’s a great idea to monitor heart health. The Apple Watch continuously measures your heart rate and is capable of detecting potentially fatal heart issues. If you are feeling symptoms or are instructed by your health care provider, you can take an electrocardiogram with the Apple Watch Series 4, 5, or 6. If you chose to invest in a Series 6, you also get the benefits of blood oxygen monitoring. The stories of the Apple Watch literally saving lives keep coming and coming!

As we age, our health becomes an increasing concern, and the ability to monitor our vulnerable elderly loved ones is, thankfully, advancing by leaps and bounds thanks to Apple Watch. We’ve evolved beyond the “Help! I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!” days to an intelligent watch-sized gadget that will contact emergency services on your behalf and also monitor your health vitals … almost like Beverly Crusher on the Enterprise!

Do you have any comments or questions? Contact us!

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Ryszard (Rick) Gold, From Calgary, Alberta, Canada has over 20 years of experience working with Apple products in a technical capacity. Passionate about technology in general, his natural troubleshooting abilities, curiosity and appreciation of good design lead him into working exclusively with Apple Computer products.
Ryszard Gold
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