New Tunstall Americas CEO Oscar Meyer announced today (6 Sept) the acquisition of Providence Lifeline Medical Alert Service from parent Providence Health & Services, a division of Providence St. Joseph Health, a nonprofit Catholic health system with 50 hospitals and over 800 clinics in seven Western states. Terms were not disclosed. The sizing was also not disclosed beyond ‘thousands of customers’. Evidently from its statement, Providence Health will continue to contract with Tunstall and expand PERS health monitoring for its clients: “Providence looks forward to a collaboration that will help people stay safe and independent at home.” Another interesting affirmation is that Tunstall is resuming its collaborating or acquiring “highly regarded regional, state, and local providers of telecare, medical alarms, and medication management services.” Release (PR Web)
The leadership page gives the barest bones of Mr. Meyer’s background: most recently North America Commercial Operations team for Invacare Corporation, a DME company primarily in the long-term care market, with most of his career at J&J. His LinkedIn page also adds in an adjunct professorship at Xavier University, a brief VP stint at Gambro (acquired by Baxter 2013) and Snow Creations, LLC, giving his location as Ohio. Tunstall Healthcare Group CEO Gordon Sutherland also is a veteran of Invacare (as head of EMEA) and Gambro.
Our Readers will recall the sudden change at Tunstall Americas three years ago when Mr. Pittock was ‘unveiled’ at the Medical Alert Monitoring Association meeting by then Tunstall Group CEO Paul Stobart, replacing Bradley Waugh [TTA 14 Mar 14]. Mr. Pittock was still listed on the Tunstall Group website as CEO North America through May 26, but as of this writing (June 6) the leadership roster has been updated with Mr. Meyer’s picture and brief bio.
This Editor hopes that Mr. Meyer makes headway in the complex and crowded US PERS and safety market. Tunstall acquired in 2011 one of the most successful PERS/monitoring businesses here, AMAC, but failed to build substantially on their established business. One of the last appearances of Mr. Pittock in the press was in February for the Ripple Network Technologies personal safety device, where Tunstall Americas was providing the 24/7 emergency monitoring [TTA 1 Feb]. A great idea, but by March 3, Ripple had canceled its Kickstarter fundraising and their last Twitter post was March 21, indicating the company has gone dark or out of business. It is another example of how difficult it is to make headway here in the Americas. Is it acquire another company–or go home?
It’s clearly aimed at a younger market than typical for PERS, concerned with stylish safety in ‘lone’ situations and not with ‘falling and I can’t get up’. The stated Kickstarter price is also appealing: $129 for the standard sensor, $199 for a specially designed sterling locket style, both inclusive of one year of monitoring service. Release is scheduled for April.
Despite this announcement, the Kickstarter site is not up yet. The Ripple website has a flashy animation homepage without detail, found only through their LinkedIn company page which also is bereft of details. Other than the release pickup on ReadItQuik.com, this Editor cannot locate the release on the standard PR release sites such as Business Wire or PRWeb. (The Tunstall Americas website has not been updated for news since last August.) A curious start indeed.
Update: Ripple’s communications director in the Comments has supplied the Kickstarter link which went live on 1 Feb, and is here. The website now has an Order Now button which links to the Kickstarter page. Key features: click once to receive a call from the monitoring center, or click 3 times or more to summon emergency help or a call per your profile setup. A potential drawback: no two-way communication except via phone and the BTE connection, which if you are separated from it (for instance, your purse is stolen), the system won’t work.
The requested raise is $50,000 by 3 March. PRNewswire release.
We haven’t heard much from Tunstall Healthcare in the past two months, but Tunstall Americas has announced that the belle PERS unit has been added to the US line of products which now . The belle is on the AT&T GSM cellular network for two-way voice communication with their 24/7 call center and GPS location technology. The pendant has a rechargeable battery that can last up to 30 days on a single charge, and can be either worn or carried in pocket or purse. Also new in the line is the Tunstall flood detector which signals the call center through the Vi+ and CEL. Release, Tunstall Americas website.
Tunstall Healthcare has been, quite untypically (for years) and aseasonally, burning up the newswires with press. The first we’ll mention is from Tunstall Americas announcing the availability of smoke detection sensors as part of their their newly introduced Vi+ and the CEL mobile PERS. The units when triggered by heat or smoke sound an audible alarm and generate an alert over to the 24/7 monitoring service. Like last week’s announcement of ambient temperature sensing, there’s nothing revolutionary here but these add-on features are extremely helpful to older people who use these systems. It also is a bit of sales upsell for their growing network of local home monitoring monitoring dealers/services [TTA 3 Aug]. Tunstall release.
We’ve also noted a new surge of activity in Australia (the Staying Strong telehealth pilot) with vital signs monitoring using the myclinic telehealth hub in the homes of older Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. In the UK there is the PegasusLife new Malt Yard assisted living development for care alarms, Wakefield District housing and providing extra care services at Hare Hill-Rochdale Boroughwide Housing (RBH). Roundup here on their press page. For their LTC work at Tameside Hospital NHS Foundation Trust Community Services, Tameside and Glossop Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and Tameside Metropolitan Council (TMBC), Tunstall UK won the HealthInvestor Technology Provider of the Year Award. Tunstall telehealth solutions reduced hospital admissions by 38 percent or £2.7m where mymedic was used. Release
Other than the press release, no information on Vi+ is on the Americas website yet, including pricing. (Vi without the sensor array has been sold for some time.) Vi+ is marketed in most Tunstall countries in Europe, Australia and New Zealand. The fact sheet from Ireland is representative of Vi+ in most markets.
It’s interesting that Tunstall Americas has chosen to enhance their PERS/call center services with sensors, versus entering the hotter telehealth area. Sensor-based activity/danger monitoring is hardly new. (more…)
[grow_thumb image=”http://telecareaware.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/Big-T-thumb-480×294-55535.gif” thumb_width=”120″ /]Tunstall Americas has made a second acquisition of a home monitoring service and distributor in Hawaii, Lifeline Hawaii Services. Based in Honolulu and providing monitoring throughout the Islands, it appears from a statement by CEO Casey Pittock that the 15-year-old company will be merged with an earlier acquisition, Kupuna Monitoring Systems. Monitoring services will be provided on the mainland in New York City and Rhode Island. This marks the eleventh acquisition of local monitoring services Tunstall has made since late 2014. A caution to Mr Pittock: Editor Donna having some experience with a mainland company managing a significant Hawaii presence, albeit in a different industry (Avis car rental), the kama’aina (local) market prefers on-island presence and service, the more personal the better. One of the biggest challenges will be when that Hawaii emergency call comes in, to understand local expressions and to know that on the Big Island, Hilo is not around the corner from Kona but nearly two hours away; even on Oahu outside of Honolulu, help can get far away quickly. Hawaii News Now (Tunstall release)
Down Under, Tunstall maintains a steady level of activity unlike their US brethren who are hard to find at industry events. They began distribution before Christmas of the latest version of the wander alerting Find-Me Carers Watch for the cognitively impaired which just received a AU $3 million investment from local VC OneVentures. Retirement community Living Choice has also contracted with Tunstall to update their emergency call systems for five villages. Since last July, they have transitioned and customized 700 units across five villages. Residents now can access the National Home Doctors Service and 24/7 monitoring by Tunstall’s centers in Australia and New Zealand. Australian Ageing Agenda Technology Review
[grow_thumb image=”http://telecareaware.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/Big-T-thumb-480×294-55535.gif” thumb_width=”125″ /]Tunstall Americas continues its home care provider-centric strategy through an expanded product marketing relationship with Apria Healthcare. Apria, in addition to home care services, markets directly to customers a range of medical devices and durable medical equipment; they will be selling Tunstall’s brands under their medical alert category. This is the first we’ve seen in the US the Tunstall Vi and iVi pendant, along with the CEL cellular PERS unit. Tunstall will also be providing Apria with custom branded products, along with call center, ordering and fulfillment services. Apria is the US’ fourth largest home care provider (2014 Home Care Market Outlook) with 1.6 percent of a highly fractionated market. Our sources tell us that the initial relationship precedes the Tunstall acquisition of AMAC. PR Web
[grow_thumb image=”http://telecareaware.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/Big-T-thumb-480×294-55535.gif” thumb_width=”150″ /]Tunstall Americas’ monitoring providers will have something new to distribute: the QMedic activity tracker. The QMedic bracelet (alternatively pendant) has an alert button and a base station like a conventional PERS, but also tracks sleep quality and activity levels. It has two way monitoring and also generates alerts and texts to loved ones if the bracelet isn’t worn or no wake-up is detected, plus recurring wellness reports on activity, sleep, and safety in the home. Fall detection presumably is inferred Tunstall’s reseller agreement includes all its local healthcare service providers. This Editor also observes that after a very long period of quiet, Tunstall in the US is demonstrating its own activity. Release. Earlier in TTA: Tunstall Goes Hawaiian with Kupuna Monitoring acquisition
- In the 2014 FY ended 30 September, revenues were £215 million. FY2013 was £221 million, a decrease of £6 million (2.7 percent).
- A corresponding but greater EBITDA (earnings before interest taxation depreciation and amortization) drop to £43.0 million. FY 2013 was £52.7 million, a decrease of £9.7 million (18.4 percent).
- The good news: revenues up 6.8 percent in the Nordics, Southern Europe, Central Europe, and Australasia; Spain’s Televida as a market leader also a bright spot [TTA 19 Dec].
- No such good news in UK and the US (more…)
Tunstall Healthcare is partnering with Canadian mHealth developer Tactio Health Group in what is a distinct first for them: creating a mobile care management system that is 1) smartphone-based for the patient and 2) prominently integrates non-Tunstall apps and devices. The patient uses the smartphone and the Tactio-developed mTrax app to collect a wide spectrum of data–everything from activity, sleep, pregnancy, body fat and mood tracking to the traditional constellation of vital signs. This uploads to the care provider’s tablet mPro Clinical App which overviews, details and reports the data for each patient and patient groups in care. The data comes from well-known mHealth apps outside the Tunstall world: BodyMedia, Fitbit, Fitbug, Garmin, Jawbone UP, Medisana and Wahoo Fitness, as well as connected (presumably Bluetooth) medical devices from A&D Medical, Mio, iHealth, Telcare, Withings and Nonin. Tunstall has also added two-way patient coaching and health journal features.
Tunstall’s positioning for what they call Active Health Management or AHM is “supported self-management” and “shift(ing) from reactive care to cost-effective active care.” (more…)
Gold in dem der hills? Tunstall Americas, Tunstall Healthcare Group’s US subsidiary, on Monday announced the acquisition of Mountain Home Medical, a Denver, Colorado-based telehealth provider of medical alarm and medication manager systems for the home market. In its announcement, Tunstall Americas gave the reason as “The acquisition demonstrates Tunstall’s commitment to expand its service footprint across the United States through acquiring or partnering with highly regarded regional, state, and local providers… ” Mountain Home is certainly the latter with business only in the state’s 53 counties, serving Medicaid eligible and private pay customers. Industry estimates put their subscriber base at under 5,000 customers.
A change in US strategy? Unlike Tunstall in the UK and Europe, the Americas subsidiary has maintained a low profile since the 2011 acquisition of AMAC, which at time of sale (more…)