Telehealth, security join forces in the smart home of the future

From the mHealthNews archive
By Eric Wicklund
01:56 pm

One of the front-runners in the home health monitoring market is embracing the Internet of Things.

Seattle-based Numera is selling its mobile personal emergency response systems (mPERS) and telehealth business assets to Nortek Security & Control, a developer of smart controls for residential and commercial security. The move pushes Numera's home telehealth business further into the connected home concept, marrying the healthcare aspects to a security platform that emphasizes monitoring.

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"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 CEO Tim Smokoff said in a press release. "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."

"The markets for premises and personal security are converging, and our dealers are looking to suppliers to address this convergence," Michael O'Neal, president of Carlsbad, Calif.-based Nortek Security & Control, said in the release. "Nortek is firmly established as a leading supplier of traditional PERS solutions within the home, and Numera's mobile platforms provide seniors and those with special needs with personal security whether at home or away. In addition, Numera's health status monitoring capabilities target the rapidly emerging telehealth market, making the transaction an even more exciting opportunity for us."

Numera's mPERS platform is focused on Libris, a mobile PERS solution that embeds hands-free, two-way voice communication, fall detection, location services and vital signs monitoring in a wearable device. The company launched Libris in 2011 to meet the growing demands of an aging population that is already invested heavily in the home monitoring market and is looking for one that adds health maintenance and monitoring to the platform. According to statistics compiled by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than one in three seniors falls each year, costing the U.S. healthcare systems some $34 billion annually.

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Last year, the company added telehealth to the mix with Libris+ and Numera Team Care, with the goal of moving into the managed care market and working alongside healthcare providers. 

Other players in the market include Verizon, Philips, Honeywell, Independa and IDEAL Life, which itself forged an alliance with home security developer ADT in 2013.

"Acquiring this business is an important technology initiative for our Security & Control Solutions segment," Michael J. Clarke, president and CEO of Nortek, Nortek Security & Control's parent company, said in the release. "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."



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