AT&T launches mPERS unit
ATLANTA—AT&T has launched its mobile PERS units, called the EverThere, a small wearable device manufactured by Numera, a Seattle-based provider of mobile health solutions.
Powered by AT&T mobile broadband network, monitored by a CSAA Five Diamond central station, with geo-redundant infrastructure, Penrose added. the device automatically detects falls, has two-way emergency calling, and will deliver both enterprise and direct-to-consumer solutions.
Chris Penrose, SVP, AT&T, emerging devices, shed some light on AT&T's plans for channeling the product to market. “In terms of end users, unlike traditional PERS, which target individuals in their 80s, this mobile solution would offer true independence and freedom for the healthy aging population as well as those living with chronic conditions.”
For its target market, Penrose believes the added mobility an mPERS units, rather than a traditional device, will prove a boon, as the solution is “not anchored to a home” and uses machine-to-machine connectivity to “link users in distress virtually anywhere, at any time, to a professionally staffed monitoring center.”
A common critique about the long-term viability of mPERS is that the devices are not different enough from cellphones to gain widespread adoption. But Penrose noted that, unlike cellphones, the unit allows users to initiate an emergency call by pressing a single button, in addition to the automatic fall detection.
On the enterprise solution front, AT&T intends to develop partnerships with large health care providers, Penrose said. Targets include “healthcare providers with large Medicaid and Medicare populations, such as nursing agencies, adult day care services and other home care providers,” he said. The company also hopes to tap into Medicare Advantage private health plans that deliver Medicare coverage to seniors and provide complimentary services such as mPERS, Penrose said.