Subscribe to RSS - PERS

PERS

PERs, Mickey Mouse and … sharks? Heading to Orlando to cover Affiliated Monitoring’s Catalyst 2019

 - 
Wednesday, May 8, 2019

As the Jaws warning theme song plays in my head, along with the ‘Baby Shark’ song that became an internet sensation, patterns of “do-do-da-do” fill my head as I anticipate the first-ever Affiliated Monitoring Shark Tank at Catalyst 2019. I’m excited to be heading out to sunny Orlando’s Four Seasons at Walt Disney World Resort® to get a first-hand look at the PERs/mPERs niche of the security industry. This is Affiliated’s 4th Catalyst Conference and I feel congratulations are in order, so on behalf of the SSN team, “Congratulations Affiliated Monitoring!” 

As of February 28, 2019, at noon, via email, I got word that teams from over 70 companies were registered to attend this event. This is a marvelous turn out all on its own, but the final attendee count is yet to be determined since the event doesn’t even start until today! Soon, golfers will be yelling “four” as they swing their carefully chosen clubs at Tranquilo Golf Course on the Four Seasons Resort to determine who reigns supreme on the course in best ball with additional challenges for longest drive and closest to the pin. Afterwards tips for free and almost free tools, tricks and marketing strategies to grow a PERs business will be presented with a welcome cocktail reception closely following at the Four Seasons’ Pool Bar & Grill all on Wednesday, May 8th.

Then, bright and early on Thursday, May 9th, the live action will start on my Twitter feed @SSN_Ginger, and continue on until the end of the conference, sharing the highlights of each day. Thursday will be a PERs-related montage of Daniel Oppenheim of Affiliated Monitoring delivering the day’s keynote: a view of the demographic changes driving the growth in the PERs industry along with PERs-specific trends; presentations; sessions; and networking intermingled with coffee and food. 

Of course, on Friday, May 10th, there will be coffee and food, but more important, taking the stage is Executive Keynote Speaker and President, Healthcare Division at Connect America, Richard Brooks, an industry icon with story after story of priceless knowledge about leading and growing multiple PERs and telehealth businesses. Attendees will gain insights to take their PERs business to next level by learning the top things no one ever tells about when scaling a PERs company. Attendees are then invited to “swim” on over to the Shark Tank where innovators will come face-to-face with the Sharks, industry veterans who will listen to contestants’ pitches and decide if they are interested! 

Innovators include the brave: 

  • Jean Anne Booth, CEO, UnaliWear
  • Steve, Chazin, VP, product, Alarm.com 
  • Mara Perlmutter, founder & CEO, TrelaWear.

Sharks include the blood-hungry: 

  • Geoff Gross, president, Medical Guardian
  • Rob Flippi, CEO, MobileHelp
  • Sindee Shaulinski, general manager, medical monitoring, Doyle Security Systems.

I personally can’t wait to see (and Tweet about) what goes on in THIS tank! 

The day, and Catalyst 2019, will conclude with Brainstorming Roundtables with voted-on topics to include: 

  • Growing Your Connected Health Portfolio
  • Managing the 4G Transition
  • Payor Sources: Medicare, Medicaid & Beyond
  • Secrets of Reducing Customer Churn

This year’s Catalyst seems to be full of learning and building relationships while taking time to have fun. Here are some tips to get the most out of Catalyst 2019: 

  1. Follow me on Twitter @SSN_Ginger to keep up with live highlights of Catalyst 2019. 
  2. Bring a notepad and writing utensil to take notes of the amazing knowledge your will learn. 
  3. Before Friday, May 10th review the Brainstorming Roundtable topics and create questions to ask during each. Write them down in your notebook and leave space below each one for the answer to keep your notes organized.
  4. If you’re escaping to Epcot for the scavenger hunt, casual or athletic clothes are recommended. Sneakers are REQUIRED by Disney; NO open toed shoes allowed. 
  5. Download the official Catalyst App to stay connected at the conference.

Freeus, LLC launches next generation Belle mPERS

Device is certified on Verizon 4G LTE Network, and offers 30-day battery life and water-resistance
 - 
05/06/2019

OGDEN, Utah—Freeus, LLC, a wholesale mobile personal emergency response system (mPERS), announced the launch of the next generation of Belle®mPERS, certified on the Verizon 4G LTE network.

Medical Care Alert discusses company growth

 - 
Wednesday, March 14, 2018

YARMOUTH, Maine—PERS seems to have come up quite a bit this month. I spoke with Affiliated about its upcoming Catalyst conference and COPS Monitoring about its approach to mPERS.

I also spoke with Bryan Stapp, president of Medical Care Alert, a PERS dealer based in Northville, Mich. The company, started in 2008, has seen strong growth in the past few years and Stapp gave me some perspective on the PERS industry, both within his company and the market overall.

Medical Care Alert recently earned a distinction from Stapp’s alma mater for its growth. The company has experienced a CAGR of 34.27 percent over the last three years, earning the company a spot on the Gator100, a list of the fastest growing companies owned or operated by University of Florida alumni.

This is the second time Medical Care Alert has appeared on the list, ranking number 68 this year and 88 in 2017. “It’s a nice thing for the team here to see that our growth and our efforts are being recognized,” Stapp said.

Certain technologies have played a role in that growth, according to Stapp. “In terms of the product line, the mPERS devices—what we call the HOME & AWAY line—has really been our biggest growth engine, and that’s clearly where people are headed,” he said.

Stapp continued, “Either because they’re still really active or because we’re hitting a younger demographic, or they’ve gotten rid of their traditional phone line, so there’s no more POTS line or VoIP line to connect a traditional medical alert system up to—the HOME & AWAY has been really popular.”

Medical Care Alert uses two different devices under its HOME & AWAY category: the Numera Libris and a device manufactured by Micron. Stapp lauded the fall detection of the Libris device and the tracking abilities enabled by the Micron device. “The devices are great, they’re rock solid, they’re very reliable. We’re very happy with the quality of the devices, and that’s important for us, obviously, for customer satisfaction, for customer service, and then also for … keeping our return rate really low.”

Building out the company with additional sales people and customer service representatives has also assisted the company’s growth over the past few years. The company had about four or five people three years ago, according to Stapp, and now it has 15.

“In general, we’ve been able to staff up with the growth and we’ve been very fortunate to have extremely low turnover,” Stapp said. “The folks that are with us tend to stay with us for a while. … That’s been very, very helpful.”

Stapp pointed to the company’s updated website as another recent improvement. Last year, Medical Care Alert made the website more mobile-friendly, revamped the ordering process and included a tool to help consumers with product selection, he said.

In the announcement of Medical Care Alert’s second Gator100 recognition, Stapp stressed the company’s focus on customer service. “For us [customer service] means a couple things. One is making sure that we are reaching out to our clients when we see events come through on their account,” he told SSN. “The other thing we do is, through our telephone system, we make sure that people are not on hold for long, if at all. That’s a combination of your phone routing and your staffing.”

Medical Care Alert also recently recieved its sixth consecutive Angie's List Super Service Award.

Stapp is positive on the PERS industry’s future. “I see the industry just continuing to grow. There seems to be a very wide acceptance of the product and the technology,” he said. There are some market segments want advanced features that are coming out—such as Wi-Fi tracking—and there is also still a large market of consumers looking for a more basic system that will simply get the user help when they need it, said Stapp.

“I continue to believe that, if you’re truly viewing this as an emergency response system, that it has to be really simple. That’s why we like things that have a big, easy to push button,” he said.

Top monitoring topics in 2017

 - 
Wednesday, December 20, 2017

YARMOUTH, Maine—Now that we are in the second half of December, it seems like a natural time to look back over the year and some of the common topics from the monitoring side of the industry in 2017. 

The Monitoring Association had some notable developments this year, including changing its name from CSAA in March—a change made to better portray the focus of the organization.

It was great to attend TMA’s Annual Meeting this year. You can read an overview of that event here. At the close of the meeting TMA welcomed its new president, Ivan Spector, president of Montreal-based Sentinel Alarm Co., along with several other officers. You can read more about that here.

And, more recently, TMA announced its new Level 1 training course for monitoring center operators.

PERS, yet again, was a big topic of the year.

Affiliated Monitoring held its second annual Catalyst conference in Miami in mid-May, examining the sales and marketing aspects of the PERS industry.

AvantGuard held its fourth PERS Summit in late September, in Park City, Utah, covering a variety of topics.

Medical alert provider Medical Guardian also announced a change-up to its branding and marketing, looking more at overcoming one of the biggest obstacles in the PERS industry, which is “the perception of the service,” according to company founder and CEO, Geoff Gross.

PERS manufacturer Freeus also started a dealer education initiative. There were also some acquisitions announced; VRI made a purchase in the PERS space, as did Tunstall Americas, and GTCR was purchased by a private equity firm. PERS company ONKÖL started production.

There were also a few notable hires and role changes at monitoring companies: Security Partners named Randy Hall as its president, Justin Bailey became the president of AvantGuard in addition to being its COO, MONI’s Bruce Mungiguerra was promoted from SVP to COO, and NMC recently hired Nicola Oakie as its new director of national sales.

 

News Poll: Reader opinions vary on PERS offerings for the security dealer

67 percent see mPERS as a large technology in the market
 - 
09/06/2017

YARMOUTH, Maine—Security Systems News asked its readers about personal emergency response systems and how the offering could fit in with a traditional alarm dealer’s portfolio; some see the two systems as different, others say there is opportunity for security dealers.

Medical alert systems: A current PERSpective

Four executives in the PERS or mPERS space weigh in on the technology today
 - 
09/06/2017

YARMOUTH, Maine—The PERS space has been evolving much in the past several years, now with several conferences that discuss the topic, including the MAMA annual meeting, Affiliated Monitoring’s Catalyst and The PERS Summit.

Tech use rising among older Americans

 - 
Wednesday, May 31, 2017

I’ve been hearing a lot about PERS and mPERS lately. Specifically, I’ve been interested to hear views on how older PERS users feel about technology.

When discussing Essence’s [email protected] Active offering, which uses a Bluetooth connection to a smartphone, company head of marketing Rafi Zauer said, “The obvious question is: How many seniors have smartphones now-a-days? There’s ample evidence … [smartphone use] is going to become almost ubiquitous over the next few years with seniors for several reasons.”

Zauer continued, “The availability of old phones, or non-smartphones is depleting. … Plus, the baby boomers in the next few years are becoming seniors themselves, and we know baby boomers use smartphones almost across the board.”

Following that conversation, as well as others, I was interested to come across a new report from Pew Research Center, titled “Tech Adoption Climbs Among Older Adults,” which looks at older Americans and their stance on technology.

The report’s authors, Monica Anderson, Pew Research Center research associate, and Andrew Perrin, research assistant, had some interesting figures about the way older generations could view technology.

The report reads: “recent Pew Research Center surveys find that seniors are also moving towards more digitally connected lives. Around four-in-ten (42%) adults ages 65 and older now report owning smartphones, up from just 18% in 2013. Internet use and home broadband adoption among this group have also risen substantially. Today, 67% of seniors use the Internet—a 55-percentage-point increase in just under two decades. And for the first time, half of older Americans now have broadband at home.”

The report also mentions higher tech adoption in some areas among seniors that are younger, between ages 65 and 69. “Seniors ages 65 to 69 are about twice as likely as those ages 80 and older to say they ever go online (82% vs. 44%) or have broadband at home (66% vs. 28%), and they are roughly four times as likely to say they own smartphones (59% vs. 17%),” it read.

Though, the report also notes, that some seniors chose to “remain largely disconnected.” Anderson and Perrin write, “One-third of adults ages 65 and older say they never use the internet, and roughly half (49%) say they do not have home broadband services. Meanwhile, even with their recent gains, the proportion of seniors who say they own smartphones is 42 percentage points lower than those ages 18 to 64.”

I’ll be curious to find out if increased technological familiarity among seniors will change the way PERS devices are designed in the years to come. 

Affiliated and Essence USA launch new PERS program

 - 
Wednesday, May 10, 2017

UNION, N.J.—On Monday, connected living solutions provider Essence USA announced a new program, created in partnership with Affiliated Monitoring, to benefit dealers of Essence’s PERS products.

“The fully customizable program gives dealers a range of options about how to best run their PERS offerings, including order fulfillment - direct to the consumer or distributed to the dealer, customer service, invoicing and collections, equipment retrieval and refurbishment, and branding options,” the announcement read.

“PERS is a major focus at Affiliated,” Daniel Oppenheim, Affiliated’s vice president, said in a prepared statement. “We are excited to be able to provide this advanced system to our dealers who are interested in a turnkey PERS program.”

“We can customize a program for any dealer to make it easier to get into PERS,” Affiliated Managing Director Mike Zydor said in the announcement. “For the dealers already in the market, we can provide access to preprogrammed, leading-edge products at discounted rates.”

Essence’s [email protected] suite of PERS products benefits both dealers and end-users, Essence said in its announcement. The offering has a large radio communications range for devices, “allowing users maximum flexibility in moving around their home and property. They also offer a wide variety of safety and security sensors, giving dealers an attractive and scalable offering for their customer base,” the announcement said.

“Essence is on the forefront of in-home PERS technology and has a veteran management team behind it,” said Yaniv Amir, President, Essence USA, in the announcement. “Essence historically has only worked directly with larger players in the space, and we are excited to now bring our products to all Affiliated dealers.”

The program is scheduled to launch within the Affiliated dealer network at the end of May.

PERS provider acquires two

 - 
Wednesday, December 7, 2016

BALA CYNWYD, Pa.—Connect America, a large provider of PERS products, recently announced two acquisitions through its Healthcare Division; Racine’s Medical Alert, based in La Junta, Co., and Spirit Homecare’s Medical Alert Division, located near Des Moines, Iowa.

“We acquire…  local providers that really have a regional reach and the opportunity to grow those businesses by cultivating referral sources in the geography where they operate,” Richard Brooks, president of Connect America’s Healthcare Division, told Security Systems News.

By acquiring Racine’s Medical Alert, Connect America’s Healthcare Division expands into Colorado. The company will continue to use it’s Racine’s brand.

Brooks said that the purchase of Spirit Homecare’s Medical Alert Division opens the company’s opportunities in the Des Moines. This division will fold into Connect America’s network in the Des Moines area.

These acquisitions complement the company’s July acquisition of Home Buddy, based in Kansas, Brooks said.

Brooks described the company’s approach to incorporating acquired businesses, “We enhance the sales and marketing operation, we take some of the back office functions and move them to our headquarters, and emphasize a sales effort on a local basis.”

Connect America’s Healthcare Division has finalized four acquisitions in the past 12 months and expects a similar rate for the next year, according to Brooks.

The Healthcare Division grows both organically and through acquisition; 70 percent of the division’s growth comes organically and 30 percent is through acquisitions. The company did not announce the number of subscribers included in the deal.

Tunstall offers no-cost temperature monitoring

 - 
Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Tunstall Americas announced its new Vi+ personal emergency response system earlier in the month, with an integral sensor for ambient temperature. Yesterday, the company announced that extreme temperature monitoring will be provided free of charge to its subscribers.

“Record breaking heat across the United States this summer prompted Tunstall Americas to offer Temperature Extremes monitoring free of charge to subscribers of their home based medical alert service,” the company said in the release.

“Environmental changes indicate that the frequency and severity of heat waves will continue. We are pleased that we are in a position to offer this potentially lifesaving benefit to our current and future subscribers of our Vi Medical Alert System at no additional cost,” Casey Pittock, president and CEO of Tunstall Americas, said in a prepared statement.

The system will look for temperatures either above 89 degrees Fahrenheit or below 50 degrees, at which point the subscriber or caregiver will be notified.

Extreme temperatures specifically concern many of the typical PERS users. “Tunstall’s core base of subscribers, the elderly, individuals with chronic conditions, and other at risk populations have been reported to be the most vulnerable to extreme heat related illness,” the company said.

Tunstall Americas operates its own monitoring centers in New York and Rhode Island. 

Pages