MAMA's Spring Meeting shows increased membership

Standards committee formed to work on monitoring, product standards
Tuesday, May 11, 2010

CHICAGO—The Medical Alert Monitoring Association had its annual Spring Meeting here at the Hilton O’Hare on April 19 and 20, with members and prospective members networking and participating in a discussion on the future of the medical alert monitoring space. To that end, the MAMA Standards Committee was formed and began discussions of how to best create and implement PERS monitoring and PERS equipment standards.

“The meeting was very successful,” said American Two-Way president Christopher Baskin, who is a MAMA board member. “There was a noticeable amount of recently joined, new members. There was a noticeable number of insurance companies and attorneys looking to do business with MAMA members.”

The standards committee comprises representatives from MAMA members Philips Lifeline (Philips Lifeline senior marketing manager Barry Nyer, who will chair), American Two-Way (American Two-Way president Baskin), LifeStation (LifeStation VP Daniel Oppenheim) Critical Signal Technologies (CST EVP of operations Tom Reddy), and Rescue Alert (Rescue Alert GM Ernie Wessman).

Nyer said there was a real need for standards in the growing PERS industry. “I think the medical alarm industry has a very different audience than traditional security, and to serve that population effectively takes different skill sets up and down the organization, Nyer said. “So we think that having standards that are targeted to our mission is extremely important.”

According to Baskin, another topic of import discussed at length during the meeting was the PERS industry’s need—in the face of the impending POTS sunset—for a new two-way voice medium. “We had a manufacturer’s panel for discussion of various PERS manufacturers and during the discussion the MAMA members on the floor were very vocal about the immediate need for a GSM PERS solution,” Baskin said. “There was noticeable frustration in the audience at the lack of a device now. A number of manufacturers said they were working on solutions but they seemed to be a ways out. I do believe, however, that within 24 months you’ll see a GSM PERS unit on the market.”

Nyer said the committee would meet at least once in the next few months to get to work: “In terms of the standards committee, my objective is to get the team together—which with everyone’s schedules will be a challenge. Sometime over the next several months we hope to draft up some standards for review by the board of directors. Then they’ll go before the membership for their feedback, and to see if we’re addressing their concerns.”

Attendees at this year’s spring meeting included Stanley and Daniel Oppenheim of LifeStation, Blane Comeaux of Acadian Monitoring Services, Bill Lyon of Visonic, Jeff Atkins of Rapid Response, Keith Jentoft of RSI Video Technologies, Sandy Jones of Sandra Jones & Company, and industry attorneys Les Gold (Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp) and Eric Pritchard (Kleinbard, Bell, & Brecker), to name a few. A full list of attendees can be found at MAMA’s website.