From Senior Housing News comes this article about technology. Click here for full article.
I highlighted things that stuck out for me. One thing they failed to mention was the safety piece. The barriers to entry into this “senior monitoring business” are very low. With many companies, safety is a marketing buzz word. I like the mention here of industry standards and the economic value of such, however, the life safety benefit of standards is the real deal.
Technology – Monitoring Networks, Apps, Devices and Systems Integrators
Ladies and Gentlemen, start your monitoring …..Through gadgets, apps, networks and the cloud! During 2010, a trickle of vendors released new monitoring systems and delivery options. The flood gates are going to bust open as the economy heals and companies are looking to invest and expand into high growth markets. Look for continued announcements and product offerings from old and new technology companies as well as acquisitions and roll ups of related products and services for the senior care market. Some products will be “me too” products that will provide additional market choices but few, real new features. Who will win? We’re betting on well designed products that are simple without feature overload at reasonable prices.
One of the areas that will start to accelerate in 2011 is systems integrators working in local markets to deploy various monitoring systems that employ industry standards ***See UL2560 article here *** . If vendors work within established standards, the costs for deployment and support have a higher probability of being adopted faster than those that are built upon proprietary technology. These systems integrators will need to provide better service than the Geek Squad but also know about concepts on senior living design and general contracting besides the technical nature of deployment of these networks. What are we forgetting? The most important features: selling and servicing seniors and their children. How many local GC’s are ready for this? If you said very little, you’re probably being generous. The costs of a design and tech make-over may make your stomach turn at first but if amortized over an additional 5 years in the home versus assisted or skilled care, it will seem like a bargain. In a society of instant gratification, that will be a hard sell.
So what about safety? It seems most folks are interested in the fire alarm. When it comes to the “wireless nurse call” system, a standard of mediocrity exists. If the “emergency call system” is ever used to save a life, shouldn’t it be designed to do just that. . . . in all conditions? If a component fails, the power goes out for several hours, the annunciator panel becomes disabled, etc., it should still be capable of saving a life. See Tel-Tron’s website for the real deal solution.