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Apps, Networks and Eldercare--the Growing Industry of Granny Monitors

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Through gadgets, apps, and networks, let the monitoring begin! In 2010, a trickle of vendors released new monitoring systems and delivery options. The flood gates are beginning to burst 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? Most industry experts agree that products without feature overload and reasonably priced will lead the pack.

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. 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 needs to be front and center with all involved is how to sell and service seniors and their adult children. How many local contractors are ready for this? If you said very little, you’re being more than generous. The greatest challenge will be to provide realistic expectations and not over promise. A mistake made over and over again in the eldercare industry!

The costs of a design and tech make-over may cause you to grab the smelling salts but if amortized over an additional five 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.

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EmpowHER Guest

Great insights Patricia! I just finished producing the 2012 Silvers Summit conference at CES -- all about aging and technology. Personal Emergency Response Systems (PERS), remote monitoring, apps for IPhones and iPads were the talk of the show. However, with all this great technology comes the need to help create the conversation between family caregivers, older loved ones and the health care community. Some of the companies that I think are doing great things and deserve a look are: Virtual Health - launched in NYC last fall and is centered around the Intel/GE remote monitoring technology - this subscription based service becomes the hub of the primary care team that includes physicians, caregivers and patients - check ups can be done remotely with no waiting room frustration - improves outcomes for older loved ones and physicians. The GrandCare System is another product worth checking out - connects through the internet and keeps loved one safe through wireless sensors throughout the residence - this won the Sterling Award for Health & Wellness. And, online communities, such as Lotsa Helping Hands, are getting a lot of attention because they are great free services for caregivers to get the help they need from family and friends and finally get a break! Find more at caregivingclub.com or silverssumit.com.

January 25, 2012 - 11:40am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

Sherri thanks for taking the time to comment. I agree that the companies you highlighted are doing great things. We at Aging with Grace are committed to educating families about the importance of in home safety technology.

January 25, 2012 - 12:11pm
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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