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Capturing the magic of Catalyst 2019 with these “need-to-knows” about PERs, mPERS and professional monitoring

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Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Earlier this month, I attended Catalyst 2019, hosted by Affiliated Monitoring, at the “happiest place on Earth,” where “magic” literally happens moment by moment. With two main goals—education and networking/relationship building—this year’s Catalyst provided a ton of “magical” nuggets that all PERS and mPERS professionals need to know.

Need to Know Data

Daniel Oppenheim, Affiliated Monitoring’s CEO, pumping up the audience with his keynote and survey results from Edmonds Group: in 2017, PERs signed up 1.4 million service customers. This data is significant, because up until then, the PERs industry didn’t have good data revealing the size of this niche industry.

Oppenheim continued on, explaining how professional monitoring protects our 911 system: Of the 3.4 million active PERs customers, 51 percent press their button every month. This results in 1,734,000 professional monitoring interventions per month, saving 166,464 lives per month and preventing 1,567,536 calls to 911 per month. To continue “protecting seniors and giving peace of mind to caregivers,” Oppenheim suggested the need for professional monitoring companies to partner with government entities.

Need to Know Challenges

The top three PERs company challenges are:

1.    Telecom changes – The National Center for Health Statistics found 24 percent of those aged 65 and older have do not have a landline phone and within the next five years, VoIP adoption is expected to see a 124 percent growth rate.
2.    The 4G transition – Carriers say there will be no new 3G Sim activations after THIS summer, with the 3G network forecasted to shut down by February 2022.
3.    “Self-monitoring” and overcoming customer objections – Educating customers as to why PERs and professional monitoring is needed when there are so many smart devices on the market today, including smart speakers and watches, and emergency alert apps.

Need to Know Telemarketing Insights

Michele Shuster, partner, MacMurray, Petersen & Shuster, LLP took the Catalyst stage, gave some important advice regarding:

•    Third-party lead generation (gen) – if you purchase leads, know exactly where the company is getting those leads from; make sure lead gen contracts include “callable leads,” meaning the consumer understood that by providing their information they will be contacted; train your staff on how to make calls lawfully and audit using scrubbers. Shuster also said if you receive a letter threatening to get sued because one of your company representatives called a consumer, do not ignore the letters; be proactive by obtaining legal advice.
•    Consumer data – if your company has collected sensitive data about consumers and that information isn’t needed, get rid of it.
•    STIR/SHAKEN – make it a point to understand this new technology standard to ensure calling numbers aren’t spoofed, or the calling telephone number is not altered.

Shuster explained that basically, a trust token is issued from a telephone company, authenticating all the company’s phone numbers. The type of token issued dictates whether your call will get through without harmful labels being placed on it, or even getting blocked.

Need to Know Business Operation Tips

Richard Brooks, president, healthcare division, ConnectAmerica, gave the executive keynote, with business tips interspersed throughout:
•    Your teams make you successful; make sure each team member knows their jobs and their importance to the overall success of your PERs business.
•    Build “on-ground” relationships; you have to actually “touch” people so get “feet on the street.”
•    Your employees are your most important asset because they talk to your customers, sell your products and serve people.
•    Employees need to understand everything they do can impact a life.
•    As your PERs business grows, it’s impossible to do everything, so hire a management team to help with leadership.
•    For small PERs businesses, emphasize you’re the “local PERs provider” because seniors like local.
•    Local relationships are key for small PERs companies getting bought by larger companies. Know the key local people, interact and establish a good relationship. Brooks also advised keeping great books and records, staying on top of cash receipts.

Attending events is an exciting part of my managing editor role here at Security Systems News, which suites me to a tee because I love learning and then sharing my newfound knowledge with our amazing readers.

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

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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
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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.

COPS to offer mPERS monitoring

Company plans rollout for late summer
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03/14/2018

WILLIAMSTOWN, N.J.—COPS Monitoring, a company with a network of six monitoring centers across the U.S., is looking to monitor mobile personal emergency response systems for its dealers this year.

Medical alert systems: A current PERSpective

Four executives in the PERS or mPERS space weigh in on the technology today
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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.

Freeus starts PERS University

New educational content will be exclusive to the company’s dealers
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08/30/2017

OGDEN, Utah—Freeus, an mPERS manufacturer based here, will be offering dealers education on how to enter and grow in the personal emergency response system space, called PERS University. Freeus will offer webinars, videos, one-on-one guidance and marketing materials.

Tech use rising among older Americans

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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. 

Essence to release mobile solution

Rafi Zauer calls [email protected] Active a ‘step forward’ for mPERS
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05/17/2017

HERZLIYA, Israel—Essence announced a new PERS product for a more mobile demographic today, the [email protected] Active, which Essence’s head of marketing Rafi Zauer called a “seamless extension of current PERS capabilities.”

Report: More monitoring for mHealth devices

Perceptions about PERS users are something to overcome
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07/20/2016

LONDON—The market for monitored mHealth devices is on the rise globally from 2016 to 2021, and North America will be the largest market in the forecast period.

Apple Watch SOS and mPERS: Apples and oranges?

PERS execs compare features, assess competition
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07/14/2016

YARMOUTH, Maine—On first inspection, the Apple Watch’s newly announced ‘SOS’ feature may seem similar to an mPERS device, but PERS experts who spoke to Security Systems News said comparing an Apple Watch with an mPERS device is like comparing apples and oranges.

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