Alarm.com's next frontier: remote medical monitoring
MCLEAN, Va.--With the Jan. 24 launch of its Independent Living Solution, Alarm.com has introduced a service that keeps care providers current on the activities of homebound patients or relatives with real-time reports that can be viewed on the web or via a handheld device. "Some of our customers have been using our services for medical monitoring since we went to market in 2003," said Mary Knebel, vice president of business development at the company. Because Alarm.com monitors alarm events, "we've gleaned all kinds of data that we've been able to push to the customer" for its new medical monitoring system.
The Independendent Living Solution system is "a great way of meeting in the middle for the sandwich generation, those of us caring for their children and their parents at the same time," said Knebel. "You can use Alarm.com's systems to monitor your vacation home, but you can also ensure your adult parent or grandparent is OK."
Alarm.com's new offering is compatible with third-party monitoring. "Whatever central our dealers use, their central would be the one doing the monitoring," said Knebel. "It's the dealer's decision." Alarm.com has 450 authorized dealers and now forwards alarm signals to more than 200 centrals in the U.S. "We hope dealers see this as an opportunity," said Knebel.
A unique feature of the Independent Living Solution is the "Up and About" inactivity monitoring feature, which alerts users when the sensors have not shown activity. "Clients can customize the notification settings based on their concerns," said Knebel. "You can be notified at 11 a.m. if there's been no movement, for example."
At the moment, Alarm.com does not offer video streaming, but "it's something we're looking into," said Knebel, although she also mentioned that research on the subject has indicated that many homebound patients prefer not to be monitored by camera, and "video might detract from potential customers who value their privacy."