Legrand purchases Tynetec, enters telecare market

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click to enlargeclick to enlargeThe official announcement of telecare and nurse call system manufacturer Tynetec‘s acquisition by commercial and residential electrical company Legrand is here and attached (PDF). This follows on Editor Charles’ article of 24 September and the following comment by Stewart Smith. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed. All signs (press announcement, website changes and reconfirmation with our contact at Tynetec) indicate that Tynetec will continue to be located in Blyth, Northumberland as a separate business unit within Legrand UK (HQ’d Birmingham) with its current line including the Advent XT Warden Call system, the Reach personal alarm system, the new Reach plus GSM system as well as the recently acquired Aid Call nurse call system as a separate brand.  Legrand UK’s stated aim is to enter the healthcare area to complement its existing areas in wiring devices and related areas. The parent, Legrand SA, is a French company with operations in 70 countries, marketing in 180 countries and €1.1 bn in annual sales, with an overall strategy of self-financed acquisitions of small to midsize companies of which Tynetec decidedly fits (see Bloomberg article). In the US, Legrand is best known for wireless lighting and home controls. Certainly this does provide Tynetec, after 34 years of ‘grizzled pioneering’ in the UK, a solid and VC-free parent in the UK–and access to worldwide markets.

Editor’s note: Tynetec has been a long-time supporter through advertising on this website, and Founder Steve and all the Editors appreciate their support.

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Comments

  1. Donna Cusano

    It perhaps told Legrand that entering the field from scratch, so to speak, was not the way to go.

    What is striking is how few primarily telehealth, telecare and telemedicine companies have a significant international presence, and not including fitness monitors such as Jawbone, Misfit, Fitbit and Polar.

    Perhaps a germ of a project here is to map out what companies are where, e.g.
    **Tunstall: UK, US (via AMAC acquisition), EU (where)
    **A&D Medical
    **AMD Global Telemedicine
    **Nonin
    **Alere
    **Aerotel: Israel, Middle East, Europe, limited in US
    **Bosch Healthcare
    **Ideal Life (though I’ve yet to see them beyond Canada and US)
    **Polycom (telemedicine)
    **Withings

    Some very large companies like Cardiocom have no discernible presence ex US–but I suspect for Cardiocom that will change with their acquisition by Medtronic.

    Anyone want to add more here (or do we move this to a ‘project’)?

  2. I attended an EU conferenceon telecare/telehealth in the Netherlands about 6 years ago and one of the comments was that you won’t achieve the large scale economices of scale to make telecare/telehealth really affordable until the really large multi-national consumaer electonics manafactuers get involved. I attended the Active Conference in London this year and I made the same point and it was remarkable even now, just how few are actually on the ground?

    With the developments in smart phone tech/the internet (the development of the cloud) are they going to make the current market configuration obsolete in the medium term.

    Why have fixed systems tied to a home and the current telephone landline?

    Will it be more cost effective to have the telecare/telehealth systems based upon broad band connections at the home which can then be linked to smart phones using wireless/4G for when people are mobile. These broadband links can then offer the potential for clinician (GPs) consultation via video or mutual peer support as they have done in Sweden.

    This could also faciliate the development of the “Virtual Neigbourhood” with locally based carer teams potentially able to respond to when people require care rather than having to have the current system.

    With broandband becoming more widespread the cost of this will reduce over time.

    • Simon Bramwell

      Response to Michael Jones. So your point really is that (as far as hardware is concerned) the “really large multi-national consumer electronics manufacturers” are or can be involved today – just not the ones that might have been expected 5 or 10 years ago. Hardware and comms platforms have become ubiquitous, and to a large degree most of the infrastructure already exists, from a different set of multi-nationals.
      What is needed is (a) software that runs on multi-purpose platforms to deliver telehealth/care through devices people already own (from the likes of Apple, Samsung, Netgear, etc), and (b) specialist measurement and sensor hardware with standardised interfaces. This specialist sensor element can either become the domain of existing consumer electronics manufacturers, or it will become the domain of new players that grow into the space. The back-office service provision is of course essential and remains a key component in achieving scale, but even this does not need to be monolithic, and can use the distributive nature of web and cloud infrastructure to provide a rich offering from multiple providers.

  3. There can be no doubt that telecare (in its widest sense) will become so much a part of our healthcare systems that it wont be considered in any different way to other ways of keeping people safe, secure and feeling that they are cared for. The journey to the point where the Internet of Things and the Quantified Self take over from physicians in a DIY healthcare arrangement is going to be very interesting – and it certainly wont happen overnight. In fact, I don’t think that it will happen at all unless Joe Public understands the potential of technology and trusts the outcomes in the same way as they might today trust a man or woman in a white coat and with a stethoscope around their necks.
    I believe that companies such as Tynetec will play an important role in this journey. Perhaps the current product range is best suited to the home environment but newer products are enabled for mobile connection and are likely to be ip enabled soon too so that they wont go out of fashion. Worn devices may be essential to monitor health and well-being but they wont be able to detect a fall in the bathroom, or a cooker that’s been left on, or an over-flowing toilet. People will continue to have accidents in the home – so we must avoid the risk of throwing the baby out with the bath-water as we move to next generation solutions.
    The investment of big players gives companies the opportunity to innovate without the very real risk that a bad run of sales will drive them to the wall. Good luck to them all – they have all suffered as local authority and NHS belts have been tightened.

  4. Your title is a bit misleading. Legrand did already enter the market when they purchased in January 2011 Intervox, leader of the french market.
    By purchasing Tynetec they confirm their exploration of this specific market by expanding out of france.

    Regards

    Hubert

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