Nortek Security acquires Numera's mPERS, telehealth businesses

By Jonah Comstock

NumeraSeattle, Washington-based Numera, a longtime mobile health company that offers mobile personal emergency response devices as well as other telehealth tools, has had its mPERS and telehealth assets acquired by Carlsbad, California-based Nortek Security and Control. According to a Nortek FAQ, Nortek funded the transaction, valued at $12 million "plus contingent consideration based on future sales", from cash on hand.

Numera Social, Numera's relatively new consumer engagement and behavior change platform, was not part of the deal and will remain an independent company with a new brand.

According to the FAQ, Nortek will keep Numera Libris intact, including its current branding, so the availability of the product to new and existing customers won't change. They will also continue to maintain Numera's website and online store. Nortek has an existing home-based PERS business, but Numera's technology will give the company an mPERS offering for the first time. The FAQ also states that the acquired business did about $5 million in net sales in 2014.

"Acquiring this business is an important technology initiative for our Security & Control Solutions segment," Nortek President and Chief Executive Officer Michael J. Clarke said in a statement. "Combining Numera's mobile PERS technologies with Nortek's traditional PERS and on-premises security and home automation offerings will position us at the forefront of today's aging-in-place technology trends. It also provides us with a point of entry and the opportunity to lead in an evolving, fast-growing market, as well as the potential to realize top-line synergies by cross selling between Nortek's existing home security and PERS dealer networks and Numera's impressive client base."

The acquisition will maintain job continuity for all employees of the acquired business and Nortek will continue to operate a Seattle office out of Numera's old real estate.

"With Nortek, Numera will continue to deliver on its vision of integrating personal safety and emergency response with proactive health services, allowing seniors and their caregivers to manage important life and safety events, regardless of their location,” Numera Chief Executive Officer Tim Smokoff said in a statement. “This marriage blending Numera’s health and wellness solution expertise with Nortek’s market leading smart control offerings positions the company to take full advantage of this rapidly growing market opportunity.”

Like Bosch, which officially shut down its telehealth business last week, Numera was a pioneering connected health company in the early days of telehealth. Under its prior name, iMetrikus, the company provided a PHR and hardware and software for connecting medical devices to the internet as far back as 2007. It became Numera in 2011.

Numera was on the other side of one of the early acquisitions in the burgeoning mobile health space when it bought BlueLibris back in 2012. That acquisition brought Numera, which had been a telehealth hub primarily, into the mPERS space. Numera Libris was one of the first mobile PERS devices to hit the market and was white-labelled by AT&T as AT&T Everthere, the company's now discontinued mPERS offering.

Philips Lifeline announced its own competing device, GoSafe, at CES in 2013, but the product didn't emerge until November 2014, showing just how long it's taken mPERS to break into the established emergency response device market.