Numera CEO sees mobile PERS, home security as 'natural' fit

Company is taking health monitoring out of the home in partnership with AT&T
Wednesday, May 1, 2013

SEATTLE—For Numera Corp. CEO Tim Smokoff, home security and mobile health monitoring are part of the same “natural conversation,” one that holds the promise of increased RMR for security companies as telehealth gains traction in the marketplace.

Numera, a provider of integrated health care solutions, announced in February that it has formed a partnership with AT&T, which will provide wireless network and location services for Numera’s Libris. The wearable device goes beyond traditional PERS and incorporates mobile management of chronic conditions, along with automated fall detection, location tracking and remotely managed two-way voice.

"The design from the start was to break the bonds of the home and allow this device to go with you wherever you travel," Smokoff told Security Systems News.

He said Libris' capabilities will appeal to younger, more mobile consumers—“people in their 50s, 60s and 70s"—who are interested in managing their health while maintaining an active lifestyle. The marketing potential of that demographic has great potential, he said, something that hasn’t been lost on monitoring providers.

“What we’re finding is that the call center operators are looking at expanding their security business beyond security of the home to monitoring the health of the individual, so they’re integrating our telehealth and telecare platform into their call center environment,” he said. “It's been a little bit surprising to me the reception that we've gotten in this space and from the security dealers themselves.”

Smokoff said Numera is in a three-way partnership with AT&T and Valued Relationships Inc., a Franklin, Ohio-based health care monitoring provider. Partnerships with other monitoring companies are in the pipeline.

"Service will officially launch with AT&T probably in June," he said. "We're commercially launching the device in the U.S. with other call center operators in May."

For security dealers, the extent to which they take advantage of the Libris technology depends on how they're going to market themselves, Smokoff said.

"The way we work with them is we provide marketing materials to those distributors and provide the services all bundled up," he said. "They can then basically sell and package them and generate a margin around that. Most of the call centers do seem to have a distributor network that they sell through."

Smokoff said that while the original focus for telehealth was largely hospitals and insurers, it has shifted to include monitoring centers as the market has evolved.

"It's actually playing out internationally as well in the EU and UK," he said. "It seems to be a natural conversation. When you talk about home security, you talk about personal security. It's also a natural conversation for those call center operators to extend beyond just management of security of the home to health monitoring and reselling those services."