PERS trends to watch for in 2010

My editor Sam moderated a PERS webinar yesterday. The aim was to educate those already in the PERS marketplace on legal issues, as well as to educate those looking to jump in about what they need to know first. Industry attorney Eric Pritchard was the presenter. In preparation for the webinar and in its wake, the editors of SSN have compiled some interesting PERS-related trends and links for further reading and research. The webinar is available on-demand now. Drop by and check it out if you missed it earlier today. Here is Security Systems News’ 6 Trends in the PERS Industry: 1. Companies are diving into PERS at a quickened rate, with new dealer programs being developed: DigiKnox Security enters PERS market as MediPendant Authorized Dealer Rapid Response launches PERS initiative with MediPendant, EMT-staffed Life Safety Monitoring Bay Alarm launched a PERS initiative in 2009 Sonitec Corp, out of New York, launched a new PERS intitiative in 2009 Funded dealer program launched by American Two-Way 2. VC funding and investment is coming to PERS/Medical monitoring: WellAWARE gets $7.5 million in VC funding WellAWARE teaming with AMAC GE and Intel announced a major investment last year in the medical monitoring field 3. Medical monitoring may be as big as $34 billion by 2015, but is probably in the $3-4 billion range right now, according to a Forrester study (it’s a little old, but still): Brief explanation: As of yet, CMS, the portion of the government that decides what gets reimbursed by Medicare, has not decided telehealth and PERS is something that should be reimbursed. The theory is that should CMS be persuaded that this can save Medicare a great deal of money and they decide to reimburse, the market would explode into the $30 billion range. 4. Central stations are getting serious about training their people to be EMD certified: All Acadian's operators now EMD certified for PERS accounts 5. Manufacturers are making the investment, too. Visonic is training all of its dealers on PERS equipment: Visonic teams with NTC for PERS training Visonic’s PERS boot camps 6. Cities are also beginning to roll false medical alerts into their false alarm ordinances Here's some quotable wisdom from American Two-Way president and CEO Christopher Baskin, who is on the board of directors of the Medical Alert Monitoring Association. He feels false medical dispatches and attendant ordinances to control them will most likely increase:
“There are already many places in the country where paramedics do charge for false dispatches of paramedics. However, I believe in the years ahead that more and more municipalities will start charging for false alarms for paramedic dispatches. The PERS market has been in the past a very simple, straight-forward service, and generally two-way voice has prevented false dispatches from occurring. Now, however, with much more competition in the PERS industry and the rollout of telehealth and telemedicine service—like remote medication management and vital sign monitoring—more false dispatches will continue to occur.”
There does seem to be a lot going on in the world of PERS. Check out the SSN PERS webinar and find out how to get on board.


It's ironic that this blog about PERS should end up being directly above "Who’s got the communications answer when POTS goes away?".

The problems faced by the security guys is nothing compared to the problems faced by the PERS guys as everything they do relies on two-way voice. Two-way voice over IP may be simple, but there is no 100% reliable solution over 2G GSM and there never will be. It's not the voice portion of the call, but the handshake and kiss-off that cause the problem. I'm working with some very experienced PERS guys at the moment and we are learning lots from each other. Don't expect mass migration to IP or cellular for the PERS guys anytime soon.

PERS + video. Now that's an interesting concept that someone I spoke to is convinced will happen one day.

Thanks for the input, Steve. Yeah I've heard a little bit about the coming problems for two-way voice. It will be interesting to watch what happens.