…is the surprising conviction of long-time observer Harry Wang of Parks Associates. He’s projecting that nearly all PERS will go M2M as households increasingly lose the land line, and as the current crop of older adults demands ‘anywhere’ coverage. While the numbers will be small in terms of shipping (400,000 in 2016), M2M will be the norm in five years: more than 61 percent of PERS in the US shipped in 2017 will feature M2M connectivity, versus only 15 percent in 2012. Wireless carriers are also pushing connectivity in both telecare and telehealth with key device partnerships: Orange and Sprint with IDEAL LIFE, Sprint and BodyMedia, AT&T with Vitality (and many others) and T-Mobile with self-install telecare BeClose. Undoubtedly this article in e-Commerce Times is a preview to an upcoming study.
M2M revitalizing PERS, making wireless healthier
M2M and PERS.
Will Mobile PERS users and caregivers rely upon dedicated communication hubs or will they embrace the integration of wireless health devices and smart phones?
Maybe not such a surprising conviction. A growing number of people are questioning why they need a landline just for their Telecare alarm service. In other parts of the world such as the Nordics, network carriers are actively decommissioning landline services in favour of mobile. Using M2M means that Telecare no longer stops at the front door.
The penultimate paragraph contains the key statement ‘They need a network operator that can cover patients living in rural areas, provide strong connections for timely reporting, and ensure network reliability in life-or-death situations’
Coverage is indeed the biggest stumbling block when looking at any form of M2M device. There are two main issues 1. Being tied to a single network although we know that roaming SIMs are available they will always ‘steer’ to their parent network where possible and 2. Knowing that the SIM has is available i.e. has a signal and power. The security industry, a sector in which the reliable delivery of a call is crucial has offered roaming SIMs for some time. The CSL Communications world SIM provides access to all four major mobile networks and will use the one with the strongest signal, even if this changes on a regular basis. In addition service providers have access to data such as signal strength or network acquired.
Add to this polling technology which means if a SIM is out of signal or does not have power on the associated device we can let someone, such as a monitoring centre know, Mr Wang has a pretty good case.
I agree it will happen and 5 years seems a reasonable timescale to get to M2M PERS as the norm but there are a couple of flies in the ointment even so, the most significant being:
Mark you say: “Add to this polling technology which means if a SIM is out of signal or does not have power on the associated device we can let someone, such as a monitoring centre know,”
… well okay but when we are talking about care and vulnerable people – letting the monitoring centre know that the device is without signal or has no power is not sufficient – for each individual there needs to be an escalation plan in place. This seems straightforward but it requires a significant shift in the establishment mindset in the UK from where it is now “vulnerable people are safe at home with their pendant alarm”
It isn’t the technology that holds this up but the people part of it all.
Cathy I agree completely, a significant shift is needed. I do believe that in the monitoring centre world this is happening. What will take longer is for the mindset to propagate further. To a certain extent we have escalation processes as outfield equipment has signaled the loss of power for a number of years. However in the ‘new world’ of M2M the technology providers must show the people part that change is good.