Here’s an article from CE Pro  June 20th 2011 By Jason Knott – his view on Why Digital Home Health Isn’t Selling….what do you think??? To read the article: http://www.cepro.com/article/why_digital_home_health_isnt_selling/  

Dealers lack the sales skills for digital home health market that is ready to take off.

As the residential market continues to flatten and integrators seek out alternatives, why haven’t more dealers looked into digital home healthcare? After taking a full-day GrandCare Systems training recently at Home Controls Inc., here are a few of my conclusions.

The market is growing: There will be 70 million senior citizens by the year 2030, double the number from the year 2000. This one is even more mind boggling: there will be 1 million people over the age of 100 by the year 2050. Almost none of us will able to afford nursing homes.

The systems are profitable: Systems from companies like GrandCare offer healthy margins for dealers.

The systems offer recurring revenue: Dealers can earn solid “alarm-like” recurring monthly revenues from home health systems.

There is an entry-level option: Personal Emergency Response Systems (PERS) offer a lower-cost option to “get your feet wet” in the market.

Systems are easy to install: The GrandCare System is stand alone, it does not and cannot integrate with a home control system. That might be a drawback in terms of providing a totally seamless solution for customers, but is probably not a reason for not even offering these systems. Plus, the installation is way easier than installing a control system or even an A/V system.

There is no liability to the dealer: In the case of GrandCare, the system liability is borne by the manufacturer, not the integrator. Besides, the system is not a PERS. It is not designed to detect when granny falls down the stairs.

Since all the stars seemed to be aligned for aging in place systems, why aren’t they selling? The only conclusion I can come to is that integrators are unwilling to put in the sales effort. For the average integrator, the systems are not easy to sell. The sales process requires educating both the caretaker and/or the family of the elderly client. It can be slow with a lot of hand-holding.

Selling digital home health also means you have to establish relationships with a new set of partners (nurse care, physical therapists, oxygen supply providers, etc.), and A/V guys don’t want to do that.

If you want to put in the work, the home health market is ripe for the picking. If you don’t, then you will be on the outside looking in on a market that is unquestionably going to be huge.

Am I wrong?

CE Pro  June 20th 2011 By Jason Knott

About the Author

Jason Knott, Editor, CE Pro
Jason has covered low-voltage electronics as an editor since 1990. He joined EH Publishing in 2000, and before that served as publisher and editor of Security Sales, a leading magazine for the security industry. He served as chairman of the Security Industry Association’s Education Committee from 2000-2004 and sat on the board of that association from 1998-2002. He is also a former board member of the Alarm Industry Research and Educational Foundation. Jason graduated from the University of Southern California.

5 Comments

Posted by Paul Self  on  06/20  at  10:04 AM

I believe it is more about the transition from the AV/Home Theater dealer to being a true Electronics Systems Contractor (ESC). This industry is struggling to transition from “Home Theater” guys to really address the electronic needs of our lives (even as we age). This same speed bump happened with IT services and video gaming. The CEDIA market practically fought back because it was not home theater, whole house AV, or control system. The industry is still struggling with energy management, which is a lot more than energy monitoring. This industry is at an important juncture that will require a lot of dealers to adjust to being a true ESC.

Posted by Stephen  on  06/20  at  12:41 PM

Have you ever tried to sell tech to old people?

Posted by Paul Self  on  06/20  at  01:03 PM

Therein lies the problem. This article is about selling piece of mind to care givers and helping an aging population live in their own home with autonomy. It isn’t about selling technology to old people. They do not want to live in a “old people’s home”. They want to live at home and not be a bother to their children. They key is to sell the benefit, not to sell the technology. The CEDIA market is struggling past that transition of selling the cool technology and start selling the benefit. We are touching everything electronically in the home, and yet we ignore a major lifestyle shift, aging in place.

Posted by Jason Knott  on  06/20  at  01:17 PM

Paul is right on. The primary sales target is the family member and/or caregiver, not the elderly “loved one.”

Posted by Laura Mitchell – GrandCare Systems  on  06/21  at  09:17 AM

This is an interesting article, Jason, thanks for posting!

I see a few reasons why the market has been slow to accept!  One of the problems was technology in general!  It took a while to really get a hold on the industry!  We started selling GrandCare back in 2006, set up a dealer network in 2007.  Some of it was just a waiting game, waiting until the market caught up with the early dealers’ visions.

I think in a lot of ways, all of our dealers have been extremely visionary, so often way ahead of the curve. They saw the need, they saw the solution years before the general public noticed.

So, some of it was just getting prepared, waiting it out, getting educated and educating their local population on the solutions available.

I do agree with you that so often, there is much more hand holding and explanation/education involved (at least for now) in this industry. We often find that many of our dealers that are successful have experience already in the elder care market OR have been smart to partner with an aging expert.  Some of our dealers have partnered or hired on a geriatric care manager, nurse, continuum of care expert, etc.  These partners are the ones that know HOW to talk with the caregivers/loved ones AND they know how to identify problems and help to solve them using technology.

It’s darn hard to sell something to a demographic that you really know nothing about. For this very reason, in 2008, I started up industry wide aging/technology webinars. They were designed to educate our dealers on the aging market and how to apply tech to those situations!  They are still happening – the 1st and 3rd Thursday of every month – we meet here: http://grandcaresystems.webex.com (all are welcome)

Biggest mistake is when a dealer joins this market to “make a quick buck” – it’s not an easy sale, but it IS fulfilling, heartwarming and as an added bonus, the margins are good!

Thanks for the post!


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