Last week Numera announced that it had acquired BlueLibris, maker of a wearable, cellular-enabled personal emergency response device. Numera plans to integrate the device, called the Libri, into its own suite of telehealth products and services, but it also intends to expand the device's capabilities by adding new sensors.
The BlueLibris device enables two-way, hands-free voice communication via AT&T's 3G cellular network, GPS-enabled location tracking, and fall detection. A couple of Freescale sensors power the fall detection and activity monitoring. The acquisition brings Numera new relationships with AT&T and Qualcomm, too. Numera plans to integrate the device with its telehealth gateway to enable users to upload biometric measurements from its health devices.
The Libri device is able to pick up on certain words like "I've fallen" or "Call for help" and automatically begin a two-way voice call without requiring the user to push the device's button.
Last September USA Today reported that the BlueLibris device and service would soon be available from "various health care providers," but the device and service never commercially launched.
"Very much like an OnStar for people," BlueLibris founder and CEO Ram Fish told the newspaper: "The device lets the owner push a button to talk to someone on the other end, while simultaneously wirelessly transmitting a wealth of medical data such as heart rate and blood pressure (with the help of other Bluetooth medical body sensors)."
The company plans to start selling the device during the fourth quarter of the year.
More in the release below:
PRESS RELEASE: SEATTLE, Apr 19, 2012 -- Numera announced today the acquisition of BlueLibris, LLC, a leader in personal health monitoring and safety technologies. The acquisition adds a novel, mobile telecare platform to Numera's existing telehealth products, social engagement solutions, and professional services portfolio. The combined telehealth + telecare offering enhances Numera's business partners' offerings with the goal of improving outcomes in Transitions in Care, Independent Aging, and Chronic Condition Management programs.
The small, wearable BlueLibris device allows two-way, hands-free voice communication through a cellular network, GPS location tracking, and unique, automated fall-detection algorithms for Personal Emergency Response Services (PERS). The BlueLibris devices will also be equipped with Numera's telehealth gateway technology, allowing the end user to upload biometric measurements from a variety of health devices through the mobile personal health gateway and receive personalized reminders to take medications, upload measurements, and receive coaching specific to that individual's health condition.
"The market for telecare and telehealth is expected to grow from $1.1 billion today to over $3 billion by 2017," said Tim Smokoff, CEO of Numera. "Often, a person will need telehealth-related services for general wellness or chronic condition management, and later have a need for the personal safety and immediate response offered by a telecare platform. This acquisition makes it possible for Numera's customers to have both, as they need them, on the same scalable platform."
"As we continue development of the BlueLibris products, we will extend the capabilities of the device with additional, innovative sensing capabilities to enrich activity monitoring and feedback for behavior change and lasting engagement for those living with chronic health conditions," said Bill Reid, VP of Product Development at Numera. "By combining the capabilities of BlueLibris with our existing family of PC, Smartphone, and home hub gateways and the Numera Social engagement platform, families, friends, and caregivers are equipped to participate in and deliver sustained engagement, which is critical for lasting behavior change."
Numera plans to market the product through new and existing distribution and business partners by Q4, 2012. Numera will be demonstrating the product at the ATA exposition in San Jose, CA, April 29 -- May 1, 2012.
Numera ( www.numera.com ) provides affordable telehealth and telecare monitoring solutions for third-party providers. Numera Net, combined with the suite of Numera Navigator and Coach analytic, compliance and intervention applications and professional services, and the Numera Social engagement applications for social media and mobile platforms, offers a complete health coaching platform for any organization to drive measurably better health.
Numera is headquartered in Seattle, with corporate offices in Sunnyvale, CA, Orlando, FL, and Camberley, UK.