Tag Archive for: aging and technology

GrandCare slated to speak at LeadingAge Missouri May 2nd

May 2nd 2014
From 8:00 AM until 6:30 PM

Hampton Inn & Suites
1225 Fellows Place
Columbia, MO 65201

2014 LeadingAge Missouri’s first-ever Technology Summit. Let us help you get up to speed on new technology, innovations and emerging trends to help you in the Long Term Care realm.

Contact: Christy Stretz
Phone: 573-635-6244

“The Empowered Caregiver: Long Term Care goes Digital” Presented by Laura Mitchell, VP of Business Development, GrandCare Systems

Laura Mitchell, VP Business Development, GrandCare Systems

Laura Mitchell, VP Business Development, GrandCare Systems

Digital health, social engagement and remote monitoring technologies are designed to not only create a better care experience for seniors and their families, but perhaps more importantly, to enhance the way professionals can manage the daily care needs of their clients. The aging population is continuing to rise while the number of care providers and brick and mortar cannot keep up. Armed with enabling remote monitoring technology tools, professional caregiving staff will be turned into “SUPER CAREGIVERS”, being privy to more predictive, proactive and preventative information for clients within a community or beyond, in their own homes. In this session, you will learn about available technology solutions, best practices for better client outcomes and new revenue opportunities!

More Information …

GrandCare thrives in hospice/palliative care

GrandCare client, Knute Nelson,  is a senior care provider in Minnesota who have been proactive and visionary in embracing caregiving technology as a tool to better their care.  The GrandCare System enables Knute Nelson to provide more proactive, proficient, predictive & cost-effective care to in-home clients, facility-based clients and rural clients.


We have had tremendous success with GrandCare in both Home Care and Hospice. In Hospice, GrandCare has been a primary means of facilitating end-of-life communication between our clients and their distant families. Our clients have had Skype, letter and picture contact with their loved ones in over 6 states and one foreign country. In Home Care, GrandCare is an integral part of our care delivery system, allowing the family and caregiving team to promote safety and health education, provide for early recognition and intervention to changes in condition, and facilitate enhanced communication and participation of the entire caregiving team. One Home Care client states, “I depend on it now. It’s comforting to have GrandCare. It’s like having a nurse right here with you.”

Knute Nelson Resident utilizes GrandCare technology in conjunction with in-home caregiving services

Knute Nelson is a non-profit, Christian-based organization that combines an extraordinary legacy with an innovative presence in senior care.

Contact Knute Nelson

  • Knute Nelson Care Center – 320.763.6653
  • Nelson Gables – 320.762.4310
  • Grand Arbor – 320.763.1600
  • Nelson Wellness Center – 320.759.4613
  • Subacute & Therapy Center – 320.763.6653
  • Home Care – 320.759.1273
  • Hospice Care – 320.759.1270

Knute Nelson and GrandCare Systems Present Seminar on Technology Empowered Caregivers at Silicon Valley Conference

November 7, 2013

Katie Perry, Foundation Executive Director
Knute Nelson
Direct: 320-763-1153


Knute Nelson and GrandCare Systems Present Seminar on Technology Empowered Caregivers at Silicon Valley Conference

Knute Nelson, a leading senior care provider, and digital health remote monitoring pioneer, GrandCare Systems, have been selected to present “The New Care Professional: Powered by Digital Health Technology” at the AgeTech West Conference November 14-15, 2013, in San Jose, Calif. The AgeTech West conference entitled, “Aging Services Meets Silicon Valley: Creating the Future of Care” aims to arm aging organizations with guidance, support and the latest enabling technologies to create the best, most efficient and highly innovative aging service organizations.

“With the convergence of an aging population, declining percentage of care practitioners, and rapidly evolving technological capabilities — all at a time of healthcare reform — aging service providers have an unprecedented opportunity to leverage technology to help people remain healthy and independent as they age,” says AgeTech West Executive Director Scott Peifer.

Daphne Karpan, Registered Nurse and Palliative Care Manager at Knute Nelson, will present alongside Vice President of Business Development for GrandCare Systems, Laura Mitchell. Together, they will demonstrate how caregiving organizations like Knute Nelson are utilizing digital health and activity monitoring technologies to change and better the way caregiving services are deployed, without compromising quality.

GrandCare is an all-in-one, in-home monitoring and sensor technology that enhances direct client care to promote aging in place. Using a small, touch screen monitor placed in a client’s home, both clients and their families are able to access resources on topics such as health and wellness, bereavement and chronic disease education. GrandCare allows clients, caregivers and nursing professionals the ability to access essential client information to monitor and ensure proactive health care interventions. GrandCare also promotes family connectivity through video chat and multi-media sharing features.

“Knute Nelson has proven to be a visionary, creative and innovative partner,” said GrandCare’s, Laura Mitchell. “The professional caregiving industry is embracing technology solutions to positively impact patient care. Knute Nelson is a great example for others who want to see how it is done.”

The Knute Nelson Foundation was awarded two separate grants to introduce GrandCare technologies to palliative care and hospice clients throughout a 25-county west central Minnesota region where Knute Nelson serves. The grants were awarded by the Blandin Foundation and the Minnesota Department of Human Services through their Community Services/Service Development Program.

For information on Knute Nelson Home Care and Hospice visit www.knutenelson.org or call 320-759-1273.

About Knute Nelson
Knute Nelson, a 501c3 non-profit, faith-based corporation, is an innovative leader in senior housing and health care that offers a full family of services to the West Central Minnesota region. Knute Nelson Home Care and Hospice offer services provided in the comfort of an individual’s home ranging from skilled nursing care, physical/occupational/speech therapies, medication and pain management, smart home technology solutions and home health aide services throughout a 25-county region in West Central Minnesota. Persons of any age qualify for service.

About GrandCare
Since 2005, GrandCare Systems has provided the most comprehensive caregiving technology on the market, enabling individuals to remain safe, healthy and happy at home. GrandCare’s simple, touch platform enables a Resident to view pictures, receive incoming messages, watch videos, video chat with family, listen to music and play fun games. Using a series of wireless activity and telehealth devices, GrandCare can alert designated caregivers by phone, email or text if anything seems amiss (medications not accessed, glucose levels not taken, abnormal activity, etc.)

About AgeTech West
AgeTech West is a collaborative founded by LeadingAge California, LeadingAge Oregon and LeadingAge Washington advancing the delivery of tech-enabled aging services toward a new standard of care.


GrandCare Software Tour

A webinar review of the latest and greatest in GrandCare software development.

This 45 minute session will take the viewers through a tour of the GrandCare vision, sensor offerings and capabilities. We will tour the online caregiver/user remote interface and see some live examples of case studies.

Thursday, May 10th 1 – 1:45pm Central 


http://www.grandcaresystems.webex.com GrandCare staff will be available on the webinar for a question/answer session. This webinar will be recorded and available to the public.
All are welcome to join us!

About GrandCare Systems

GrandCare offers a senior friendly, internet enabled, private home touch screen system aimed at maintaining independence, controlling chronic conditions, and reducing hospital readmissions. It combines the technologies of smart home, activity monitoring, wellness monitoring, and social connectivity. The wellness aspect includes wireless physiological readings (weight, blood pressure, oximeter, glucometer), self assessment, and medication compliance with associated rule sets, alerts, and congregate analytics. The social aspect includes one button Skype, wellness videos, reminders, and other standard social media content aimed at reducing isolation, educating the patient, and influencing them to better self manage their health.

For more information about GrandCare Systems

-Visit grandcare.com

-Find us on Facebook

-Follow us on Twitter

Transforming Social Media for the Senior Community With Brian Lang

Thursday, March 1st 2pm ET – 1pm CT – grandcaresystems.webex.com
Call in: 1-408-600-3600 – Pin: 660 464 102#

Today 40 million people are over 65 – the largest and fastest growing demographic in America. With Baby Boomers retiring, over 10,000 people a day turn 65, a trend that will continue over the next decade. Americans age 50+ are increasingly likely to have a cell phone, a laptop or tablet, or a game console, and represent the fastest growing age segment to adopt to social networking and hypernet technology. What’s the opportunity? A connected lifestyle that blurs boundaries across home, work, leisure, and retirement, smoothly connecting our online and offline lives. Unfortunately, this tech-enabled lifestyle is not yet widespread among older age ranges, hampered by technology choices that are complex and difficult to use. To enable a connected living and social aging experience for older consumers, vendors need to begin to design for all, and entrepreneurs and the venture community need a more dynamic relationship with this huge and underserved growth market.

Brian Lang, CEO of Seniors In Touch

Brian is a serial entrepreneur and social media executive with over 20 years of experience with interactive media. During the late 90′s he founded an online venture that partnered with Digital Equipment Corporation to create OnePlace.com, one of the earliest and still one of the most successful faith-based online communities. He has been a thought-leader dating back to 1999 when he authored the pioneering book, “Making the Internet Family-friendly,” for Thomas Nelson Publishers.

Brian is a champion of combining social media and health care for senior adults, is a speaker at senior living industry events, and authors for noted health care publications. His company provides a touchscreen and cloud-based social media and health care solution to senior living communities nationwide.

Join Us Tomorrow for Our First Webinar of 2012!

Adapting to Healthcare Reform: Technologies to Put Your Agency in the Driver’s Seat as Your World Changes

With guest speaker Tim Rowan

Thursday,January 19th 2pm ET – 1pm CT
Call in: 1-408-600-3600 Pin: 660 339 211#

When hospitals begin to select post-acute partners they can trust to lower their readmission rates, they will look for home care agencies that monitor patients between visits, improve medication compliance, reduce falls, communicate with family caregivers and submit regular readmission reports based on reliable data. Based on his 18 years in home care technology, consultant and writer Tim Rowan will explain the systems you will need to deploy to thrive in the very different reimbursement world that starts later this year.

  • Avoidable Hospital Readmissions will be THE topic of 2012, more important than winning referrals.
  • Hospitals will look to teams of post-acute care providers to form partnerships in the effort to curb readmissions. They will not rely on home health care providers alone.
  • Home health care providers invited to participate on these post-acute teams will be the ones with proven rehospitalization track records and with the latest remote patient monitoring technologies.

In the beginning….there were ACOs…

Great article…had to repost…http://www.ltlmagazine.com/ME2/dirmod.asp?sid=&nm=&type=Publishing&mod=Publications%3A%3AArticle&mid=8F3A7027421841978F18BE895F87F791&tier=4&id=DDA435FBCC9845E2BC555F79EC975793

 Ready or not…
ACOs are on their way
by Kathleen Griffin, PhD, Pam Selker Rak, and Shannon Webber


There are a number of ACO pilot programs in operation and the formal program will begin implementation in January 2012. The final set of rules around forming an ACO will be made available by October 2011.

In terms of formation, it is important to keep in mind that ACOs must have primary care physicians and enroll at least 5,000 Medicare beneficiaries. There are a number of organizations (e.g., Brookings-Dartmouth, Premier, and AMGA) that are assisting hospitals in aligning with physicians to get them prepared for the processes and procedures that are part of ACOs. For example, if a beneficiary’s physician is in the ACO, the beneficiary will automatically be part of the ACO as well. Having 5,000+ beneficiaries is important in order to mitigate the potential risks of high-cost patients among the ACO’s fee-for-service Medicare beneficiaries.

Most ACOs under development today are hospital-driven. ACOs require an enormous IT platform for operation and EHR and EMR congruity will be required. Some hospitals own post-acute care continuums or they create a continuing care network to meet certain quality and outcome criteria. An effective post-acute continuum allows for easy and quick transfers from hospitals and reduced or eliminated readmissions. Emergency department admissions are also lowered and this results in reduction of cost since ED visits are so expensive. Finally, patients with higher medical acuity are managed more effectively. Hospitals looking to be an ACO either can own a continuum, create a continuum of selected providers, or form a joint venture with a Medicare skilled facility.


The question on everyone’s mind is undoubtedly, “How will we be paid?” There is not just one answer to this question as there are several ways that payments will occur in an ACO. The following provides a brief overview of each option.

  • Shared Savings Program. Most payments will be received through shared savings. “For each 12-month period, participating ACOs that meet specified quality performance standards will be eligible to receive a share (a percentage, and any limits to be determined by the Secretary) of any savings if the actual per capita expenditures of their assigned Medicare beneficiaries are a sufficient percentage below their specified benchmark amount.”1 This means that ACOs will receive an average payment for a beneficiary and CMS will then run a projection. If the cost goes up from the projection, a target for reduction will be presented so that the ACO can share in savings.
  • Medicare Fee-For-Service. Another method of payment is a provider-paid Medicare fee-for-service in which providers are paid for each service rendered to a patient. If providers effectively manage services, this will drive down cost and the ACO will get a share of the savings. Providers will also be eligible to receive additional payment for shared savings if the ACO meets the quality performance standard, and the ACO’s estimated average per capita Medicare expenditures for Parts A and B is at least a specified level below the designated benchmark.
  • Bundled/Episode-Based Payment. Perhaps the biggest paradigm shift is that CMS will no longer be the payer for continuing care and that this responsibility will come from the ACO and, for some conditions, will be in the form of bundled payments. The shift makes CCPs cost centers for ACOs. This type of payment reimburses providers for expected costs for clinically defined episodes of care and was developed as a strategy for reducing healthcare costs. Bundled payment opposes unnecessary care, supports coordination across providers, and may result in improved quality of service.
  • Capitation. Under a capitation system, providers are paid a set amount for each enrolled person assigned to that physician or group of physicians, whether or not that person seeks care over a period of time. As ACOs achieve full capitation, portions of continuing care will also be capitated. Capitation is projected to be the primary payment mechanism by the end of the decade.

It is important that providers understand that they are auditioning to work with ACOs and be fully prepared to show they’re providing the highest care at the lowest cost.


So, what does this mean for CCPs? There is no denying that ACOs are on the horizon and providers need to be ready for them when they arrive. By 2017 or 2018, it is likely that all hospitals will be part of a local or regional ACO. According Loren Claypool, vice president and managing director of VCPI, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, “ACOs are looking for ‘one-stop shopping’ for post-acute care and there are a few options that a provider can do to thrive.”

  • Own the continuum for its specialty area (e.g., rehab, wound care, etc.).
  • Develop a continuing care network.
  • Establish joint ventures by operating skilled nursing facilities on hospital property. (This trend is already currently happening because it is so easy and cost-effective to transfer back and forth.)

The next couple of years will require us all to live in two worlds. CCPs will need to take lots of Medicare patients with a focus on those who need rehabilitation, all while preparing for the payment system from ACOs. There are a number of next steps for CCPs to take in preparation today for the full implementation of ACOs in the near future.

  • Collect and use data to determine cost and patient outcomes, and any changes that can be made to improve these. This includes information demonstrating patient outcomes tied to cost and readmissions, determining the number of subacute patients that go home (Medicare Part A/Part B), and disclosing 30-day readmission rates by condition. Take this information and meet with C-Suite executives at hospitals to determine how you might best partner with them.
  • Be familiar with what is going on in the market. The Accountable Care model is always in the news. Make sure you are keeping up with what is being said and done. The Brookings-Dartmouth Collaborative is a great place to learn more about ACOs and find peers who may be able to share experiences.
  • Know where referrals are coming from. Use this information to determine how those relationships might be strengthened to increase referrals.
  • Listen to the needs of the hospitals. CCPs should be proactively engaging with targeted hospitals to do market assessments and learn from them what their needs are. This will help CCPs understand where and how they can fit into the ACO model. Ask to create a joint-operating committee to create care pathways, or take some time to develop expertise with staffing and go back to the hospital with proof that you are the best partner for them.
  • Make staff adjustments to meet industry needs. The transition to the care continuum and the requirement of dealing with more medically complex patients is driving current staffing needs. RNs and nurse information specialists are needed, as are nurse practitioners, who can provide 24/7 coverage for higher acuity patients. Providers should make sure their staff is properly positioned to meet these challenges.
  • As quickly as possible, get your EMR house in order. ACOs will be data-driven organizations and the outcomes on which your competitive edge depends must be easily reportable out of your clinical systems. No data, no seat at the ACO table.

Use this information to determine how those relationships might be strengthened to increase referrals.

ACOs are all about creating greater accountability in healthcare delivery. There are many ways for CCPs to be involved and with 2012 less than two years away, now is the time to start. LTL

Kathleen Griffin, PhD is National Director, Post Acute & Senior Services of Health Dimensions Group, a senior living healthcare management and healthcare consulting firm. She can be reached at (480) 922-9366 or kathleeng@hdgi1.com.
Pam Selker Rak is president and Shannon Webber is senior communications specialist with CommuniTech, LLC, an independent marketing and business consultant for the healthcare sector and beyond. Rak can be reached at (412) 221-4550 or pam.rak@mktgcommunications.com.


  1. U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.(2010). Medicare Accountable Care Organizations Shared Savings Program New Section 1899 of Title XVIII. Washington, DC. Retrieved fromhttps://www.cms.gov/OfficeofLegislation/Downloads/AccountableCareOrganization.pdf
Long-Term Living 2011 February;60(2):33-35

“Aging-in-Place Systems in a Recurring Revenue Business Model”

Thursday October 6th 2011

Bi-Weelky Aging & Technology Webinar

Download/Watch Here

Our Topic: “Aging-in-Place Systems in a Recurring Revenue Business Model”

As the market for high-end home theaters and lavish audio systems has tempered was the economy has softened, custom electronics integrators are turning to recurring revenue business models. Thus, dealers are looking to for new sources of revenue, such as security systems, maintenance/service contracts and aging-in-place/digital home healthcare systems.

In this webinar, find out:

  • Exactly what how many dealers are pursuing recurring revenue and what percentage of their income is derived from these ongoing sources.
  • Details on why service contracts are important for profitability and why most dealers lose money on their service departments
  • Which sources of recurring revenue hold the most opportunity for dealers, and where does aging-in-place technology rank?
  • Tips on what some integrators are doing to adopt home health business models in their businesses.

Our Presenter: Jason Knott, Editor-in-Chief, CE Pro

Jason Knott is the editor-in-chief of CE Pro magazine. He 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. He is currently a member of the CEDIA Education Action Team for Electronic Systems Business. Jason graduated from the University of Southern California.

Spaulding Clinical Announces Strategic Partnership with GrandCare Systems, Delivering Integrated Home Diagnostic ECG Monitoring

West Bend, WI – September XX, 2011 – GrandCare Systems and Spaulding Clinical Research today announced a strategic relationship to integrate Spaulding’s hand-held, portable Spaulding iQTM Electrocardiograph into GrandCare’s remote activity & telehealth home monitoring system.  The result of combining these two disruptive technologies creates an exciting industry first: a telemedicine home diagnostic ECG service, currently unavailable in the Aging and Technology Industry. Interestingly, the two internationally recognized companies were both founded in West Bend, Wisconsin, which results in seamless collaboration.

“We have a major healthcare crisis on our hands,” states GrandCare Systems Founder and CEO, Charles Hillman.  “If we don’t change how care is delivered, the aging boomers will bankrupt this country.  We need innovative technologies that can offer a more proactive, preventative, personalized and predictive in-home care experience.  This is what the GrandCare/Spaulding Clinical collaboration is all about”.

“There is a rapidly growing number of elderly adults with chronic cardiac disease that need close monitoring to remain at home,” states Randol Spaulding, Founder and CEO of Spaulding Clinical Research.  “The simple, one-button, portable design of the Spaulding iQ makes it an ideal home care product, and when combined with the telemedicine platform that GrandCare has developed, this innovative system will enable chronic cardiac patients to safely live in their homes, rather than expensive assisted-living or nursing home facilities.”

Spaulding Clinical and GrandCare will be exhibiting and collecting clinical feedback on this cutting-edge integration at the National Association of Home Care and Hospice (NAHC) Annual meeting in Las Vegas, October 1- 5th (booth 1068) and in Washington DC October 16 – 19th at LeadingAge (booth 2340).   Expect the official GrandCare/Spaulding ECG product launch in early 2012.

GrandCare Systems (www.grandcare.com) combines activity of daily living & telehealth monitoring, senior social networking, medication management and cognitive assists into one user-friendly touch-based system.  GrandCare can be customized to fit anyone’s needs to assure independence, security, happiness and overall wellness.

Spaulding Clinical Research, LLC (www.spauldingclinical.com) provides Clinical Pharmacology, Cardiac Core Lab clinical research services, and is a medical device manufacturer. Spaulding Clinical operates a 105-bed clinical pharmacology unit with 96-beds of Mortara telemetry in West Bend, Wisconsin. The facility is paperless, with a phase I Electronic Data Capture system and bi-directional interfaces to safety lab, bedside devices and telemetry. As a Phase I-IV Core ECG Laboratory provider, Spaulding offers the complete suite of equipment provisioning and electrocardiograph over-reading services with state-of-the-art technologies, including the proprietary Spaulding iQ Electrocardiograph, and expertly trained cardiologists and project managers.

GrandCare Media Contact:
Laura Mitchell, VP of Marketing
Tel:  262-338-6147
Email:  Laura@Grandcare.com
Electronic Press kit: https://www.grandcare.com/presskit/docs/PressKit.pdf

Spaulding Media Contact:
Kathy Forde
Sr. Director of Marketing
Tel:  (414) 303-1912
Email:  kathy.forde@spauldingclinical.com

Finding Opportunities for Health Care Technology Integration – Residential Systems Reports

Lee from Residential Systems does a nice job of discussing the opportunities in Digital Home Health. GrandCare’s VP of Marketing, Laura Mitchell & CEDIA’s Dave Pedigo weigh in on the dealer/integrator opportunities in home health technology and why the in-home health care providers should be listening…  NOTE: the technology called Health Fronts, should be HealthSense

RX Integration
By Lee Distad, September 6, 2011

Full story: http://residentialsystems.com/article/63422.aspx

inding Opportunities for Health Care Technology Integration

Technology is getting to the point where in-home technology can do things that help medical professionals monitor their patients remotely, long term.

In the AV and automation channels there are categories that are widely adopted, such as AV distribution, as well as ones that are less so, such as energy management. At least at present, home health care is a category that is in the latter group. But a partnership between CEDIA and manufacturers of these technologies is seeking to make it both better known and a successful profit center for integrators.

CEDIA’s director of technology, Dave Pedigo, has been personally embedded in home health care research for the past year. As he puts it, “The elevator to get on and understand the category would be to take away the technology for a second and look at sheer numbers: there are 100 million in the U.S. alone who are reaching retirement age. At the same time there’s a serious shortage of doctors: as many as 150,000 fewer than needed according to the Wall Street Journal.”

With the growth of an elderly population and decreasing number of medical professionals, the question becomes how that disparity is going to be handled. Pedigo explained that, “Technology is getting to the point where we can do things that help the medical professionals.” By which he means the ability to remotely monitor patients, long term.

The home health care market is very much in its infancy, according to Laura Mitchell, VP of marketing for GrandCare Systems. Although she warns that it’s not as undeveloped as some people might believe. “Maybe it’s better to say that it’s an adolescent with braces,” she joked, going on to assert that the category has been around for some while now and is seeing more vendors and more advanced technology.

Mitchell explained that when GrandCare was being developed in 2005 there were only three major players: GrandCare, QuietCare, which is now a part of GE, and Health Fronts. While educating the market is still ongoing, Mitchell said that it was more of an uphill back then, requiring her to get out in the field, telling people that the technology exists, and getting health-care professionals to accept it. “I went from place to place,” she said, “including long-term and in-home care providers, many of whom saw us as competition.”

Mitchell said that her mission was to teach health-care professionals that home health-care technologies are supplemental to the health-care workers, and not a replacement for the human touch. “A baby monitor is not a replacement for a mother,” Mitchell said, noting, “Our products enable a better standard of care and a bigger picture of wellness.” For example, a computer algorithm can see patterns of behavior and vital signs that a family member or in-home care provider might miss. That said, the system is simply reporting information. “The smartest part of the system is the caregiver who’s making assessments based on that information.” She concludes.

GrandCare Systems’ Laura Mitchell said that her mission has been to teach health-care professionals that home health-care technologies are supplemental to the health-care workers, and not a replacement for the human touch.

What it Means to Integrators

So why should integrators consider home health care? According to Mitchell, with an aging boom under way in the USA “This is something that has to happen, and must happen to assist Americans coping with the aging boom.”

According to Mitchell, there is a lot of education that needs to be done. As far as people outside the industry are concerned, home health care is synonymous with PERS, the Personal Injury Service, and better known by the iconic commercial tagline, “I’ve fallen, and I can’t get up!” Mitchell said. “One of the biggest hurdles is explaining that this category is more than that. With crisis management, you push a button and something happens. But that’s a reactive technology. Other solutions, such as what GrandCare focuses on are proactive, preventative solutions.”

It’s Mitchell’s assertion that prospective clients should not wait until an emergency to get a home health-care system in place. Rather, that they should be looked at in the context of ongoing wellness; using the feedback and data from the system for preventative care. “Think of these systems as being in place as ‘no news is good news’ systems,” she explained.

Technology continues to progress, with recent innovations including medication management and GPS-enabled reporting, for tracking when a subject has gone beyond their normal parameters.

“Some of the medication technology can dispense medication at the right time and provide health and dose advice,” Mitchell explained.”

Although she points out that without a throat camera, there is no verification that the meds have been swallowed. Even then, technology is being developed with tablets that can alert the system that they’ve been dissolved. While that remains a future technology, monitors that track blood pressure, bodyweight, movement around the house, including frequency of bathroom breaks, and sleep patterns exist now, and these provide care givers with a more complete picture of a subject’s well-being.

Pedigo suggested that there are dual issues in play that make home health care ideal for integrators. The first is that there is a large potential client base, which translates to lucrative recurring revenue opportunities. The other is the nature of the technology itself.

“I don’t think it can be cookie cutter, which makes it ideal for integrators; we’re used to installing motions and dry contacts, and we’re already installing other systems,” Pedigo noted.

CEDIA’s Role

So what’s CEDIA doing to help raise awareness of home health care with integrators? “Well, we’re doing a couple of things,” Pedigo replied. “We’ve formed the Home Health Advisory Group, which comprises manufacturers that are advising us on what we should be doing for the industry, and helping CEDIA develop training materials.”

GrandCare Systems Laura Mitchell says that one of the biggest hurdles to selling home health-care category, is explaining that it’s more than just, “I’ve fallen, and I can’t get up!” technology synonymous with with PERS, the Personal Injury Service.

A big part of CEDIA’s outreach is clarifying what home health care really means. “We’re taking this nebulous concept and honing it so that our members can sell it,” Pedigo explained.

At the moment, the home health-care field is wide open, yet with risks and unknowns that integrators will need to sort out.

“I think that at the moment there are few specific certifications involved, but I can foresee that changing,” Mitchell said. However, she pointed out that if integrators get involved with offering any healthcare devices, like blood pressure monitors, they have to be HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) compliant.

“GrandCare has a HIPAA compliance officer, and we are teaching a course on this on September 7, 2011, before CEDIA EXPO begins,” Mitchell noted. This introductory course is an eight-hour session that covers everything integrators need to do to receive HIPAA certification. HIPAA compliance means that vendors are unable to sell to a dealer unless that dealer has achieved certification.

Mitchell also noted that integrators need to address the category with their commercial insurance provider, and be prepared to educate them. “From an insurance point of view there really are no rules yet,” she said. “The insurance companies still view it as a crisis system, like fire alarms, even though it isn’t that at all.”

Integrators may need to explain to their insurance carriers that they aren’t selling lifesaving devices; they are selling wellness devices.

And the business model itself may be more “industrial” than retail. Rather than being a quickbuck business, it requires cultivating connections in the health-care field and a potentially large list of decision makers who need to agree to the installation, including health care professionals and family members.

“Our dealers have an average of three meetings with the principal decision makers before a sale is made,” Mitchell said. “It’s not a quick cold call.”

As a result, she strongly recommends partnering with a care provider that specializes in aging, whether in a long-term care or a home-care capacity. Those partners understand how to have this conversation with prospective clients without sounding like a door-to-door salesman. “Dealers should stick to what they’re best at, which is the installation” Mitchell said. “A person who is used to dealing with the elderly has the patience and empathy that will help build your credibility.”

Lee Distad (www.leedistad.com) is an Edmonton, Alberta-based writer.