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.