3rings’ well-handled transition to their March shutdown (updated)

In late summer [TTA 19 Sep] we learned that one of the most innovative UK companies in sensor-based assistive technology, 3rings, was ceasing operations as of March 2019’s end. We noted it was a planned shutdown that gave subscribers nearly six months to switch over to other technologies. Steve Purdham and his team have recommended three companies that in their estimation are good alternatives to 3rings in both their original electrical Plug (electric usage as a proxy for being up and around) and cloud-based IoT service. Three companies are recommended in detail based on needs. 3rings presents all three in detail with special offers, including a handy ‘how to’ on transitioning services.

  1. Clever Contact from Alertacall–a daily contact and reminder service
  2. Canary Care--motion sensor/IoT service which is fairly close to the way that 3rings developed. Canary Care has reorganized since last summer with new ownership [TTA 8 Nov].
  3. PPP Taking Care–pendant alarm

When asked to comment on Canary Care’s recent release (PDF) related to their service as a close fit to 3rings, Steve remarked that “As we plan our graceful close the key for us was to give all our customers significant notice of our intentions (almost 6 months) and where possible provide guidance as to ways forward. We also wanted to help as many of our customers to transition to technologies that would help them continue looking after their loved ones after March 1st 2019. Looking after all our customers means a lot to us so providing this help made sense. The team at Canary wanted to do a press release regarding their deal and I was happy to support it.”

The 3rings closing is regrettable, but the transition of their services to protect their customers deserves a ‘Well Done’. (Undoubtedly we will be hearing from Steve and the 3rings team in future.) Hat tip to Steve, Nicola Hughes of Canary Care/Lifecycle Software, and James Batchelor of Alertacall.

Categories: Latest News.


  1. Garry Welch

    Seems odd that this news story says nothing about the reasons for the collapse of the company and why the CEO has nothing to say either. What lessons were learned? What is the CEO going to do differently next time?

    • Hi Garry

      The story wasn’t about the reasons as we have been open about the why etc previously but more about the potential UK alternatives to look after our customers.

      However to answer your specific point, the reasons were simple, we couldn’t get a large enough customer base to cover our monthly costs and provide the growth curve we wanted to cover future investment in changing the face of social care.

      The technology adoption curve in social care in the UK is ‘glacial’ despite the customer acceptance and level of support being very high once they did adopt. For example 3rings had a massive NPS score of +82 for families and +91 for seniors.

      The lessons were the technology worked, the next iteration of accessing data from multiple generically available sensors with AI also was proven and basically saved lives and made peoples lives better.

      However the glacial sales curve meant the investment levels were high and unlikely to change in the UK in the near future.

      Further lessons we believe were potentially UK specific with polarisation of social care being impacted by historical NHS and local government mass adoption of emergency buttons. Additionally we found an emotional impact from UK families ‘knew they had an issue to handle’ but put off the decision point until a crisis had happened or was looming on the horizon and this created a significant latency between being aware of a solution, such as 3rings and implementing one.

      What I would do different is probably grow in another market other than the UK first, probably the US but I suspect the emotional latency element will still be real but the Total Available Market is such larger.

      Finally, we didn’t ‘collapse’ but we made a conscious decision to gracefully close as this meant that we could look after our customers in a way that would make a difference.

      Hope that helps


  2. Nathan Downing

    I totally echo Steve’s points and personally believe the TEC market owes a lot to 3 Rings and their approach, and the legacy will be a much more open market, better informed commissioners and, as evident in recent tenders, requirements for solutions to support informed decision making through easy to manage data analytics.
    The market is also expanding as care providers look to take more of a lead on introducing technology within their offer.

    Unfortunately the challenges of reducing social care budgets, competing priorities and often closed and inflexible procurement arrangements has affected 3 Rings and others.

    I hope we can all learn from Steve’s points and hope to see him back within the wellbeing sector in the future