Saga Homecare (UK) to offer GrandCare Systems

In what Editor Donna believes is its first foray outside the US, remote monitoring/socialization developer GrandCare Systems announced at CES their partnership with Saga Homecare, the largest private provider of domicilary (home) care services in the UK. GrandCare will be providing systems to Saga under the agreement to start in early 2013. The release seems to imply ‘Saga-ization’ as well. For those outside the UK who are unfamiliar with this company, think AARP but rather than growing out of an association and political lobbying group, expanding from travel and tourism to include publishing, financial services and healthcare delivery for 50+. Another move that points to technology integration. UK Home Care Provider, Saga at Home, Partners with GrandCare Systems to power home care services

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  1. Jo

    This could be a significant partnership though US market analysts shouldn’t get carried away with the scale of SAGA’s home care operation. The SAGA brand is big in holidays for the over 50s but is a pretty small player in the home care market, where the big boys have enormous block contracts from local authorities which dwarf telecare budgets. Nevertheless, there is a natural place for domiciliary care providers (along with pharmacy chains, drug companies, equipment providers, care records organisations, system intergrators, trainers and installers) in the consortia that are challenging to deliver telecare services across England. The worry is that their telecare propositions will depend too much on the systems provided exclusively by the equipment provider in their consortium. This could lead to people being offered expensive and inappropriate devices.

    I will be looking to see what happens to SAGA’s existing social alarm service that they offered in partnership with Chubb. If that is sacrificed in favour of their new service, the outlook for Chubb could be bleak.

  2. wez

    I believe Saga is now the big boy in the home care market having acquired Nestor Healthcare for £124 million and Allied Healthcare for £106 million in 2011.

  3. Tim Pethick

    Jo, It is perhaps just a small point but Acromas (the parent company of Saga) is the largest player in the home care market in the UK. Our market share is around three times greater than any other of the ‘big boys’ in the home care space.


    Great to have a truly big boy in the forum, Tim hello. And I hope the sting of the verbal slap didn’t hurt too much Jo.
    Are you able to divulge any plans for your social alarm service arm’s future? I am sure the soon to be in post Head of Innovation and Product Development will have that little issue to work on.

  5. Mark

    Tim. This looks very interesting and presumably initially will be offered to private funders as an add-on to their package for an additional fee. What about plans to negotiate it into the block contracts with social care authorities or offer to CCG’s?

  6. Jo

    I stand corrected – though I wonder how fragmented the market remains. Let’s not forget that it was some of the biggest boys in the nursing home industry that fell the furthest.
    The challenge in combining home care with telecare is ensuring that both methods of support are personalised and suited to the assessed needs and risks. It remains to be seen if the new technology offers this level of flexibility.

  7. Kevin

    From the descriptions of the GrandCare system, it would seem to be well-suited to a preventive role, delaying a need for long term care. It might therefore be ideally suited to those people who are relatively mobile and able to go out unaccompanied. These are not the people who are most likely to need home care services.

    So I wonder if Saga will be using GrandCare for people who don’t yet need help with personal care tasks. This would enable them to escalate care provision following increasing numbers of adverse incidents – quite an a attractive business model.

    Perhaps the bigger challenge is to persuade people to invest in the technology BEFORE they feel frail or vulnerable. This is the same task facing retailers of other forms of assistive technology both in the UK and elsewhere in the developed world.

    I predict significant growth in both connected (telecare) and unconnected assistive technologies during 2013; this will require more independent evaluations of system performance, benefits and interoperability so that individuals aren’t tempted to buy “a pig in a poke”.

  8. Great conversation here, and thanks Donna for the post! GrandCare is thrilled to be working with Saga with their vision, integrity and broad market reach. I agree with you Kevin, we must focus on proactive, preventative and predictive care versus reactive and costly care. Obviously, this is a huge concern with hospital readmissions, management of chronic conditions and the disruptive aging demographic in the world!!

    The GrandCare System is designed to cater to a wide spectrum of needs, whether it’s social, chronic conditions, mobility, memory loss, preventative or a combination of all!

    GrandCare keeps individuals connected to family & friends (via the simple touch interface – SKYPE, pictures, news/weather reports, cognitive assists, med reminders, etc.)

    The predictive/preventative sensors are used & monitored by a range of individuals from family caregivers to in-home care providers ( to geriatric care mgers to concierge healthcare officials…

    I think this video is a great testament to a man that might not be able to be independent if it were not for a combination of hands-on care and the support/socialization provided by his GrandCare System

    Thanks again for all of the passion and insights above, it truly is an exciting and fast moving (finally) industry to be a part of!

  9. Well if its for the benefit and interest of people its going to affect than im all for it! Often businesses who are in this industry just think about the profit first before putting whats really important at the very front..people!

    • Agree, as long it is for the benefit of the people there is nothing wrong about it. But there’s always something fishy when big companies make decisions like this.