Telecare Soapbox: Honeywell HomMed’s response to ‘Responsibility of the market leader’

Adam Wragg, European Managing Director of Honeywell HomMed responds to the previous Telecare Soapbox item: ‘Responsibility of the market leader‘ and throws down a challenge to us all.

I read with interest the anonymous comments of the writer who sent in the July 14th article to which this is a response.

Growing the overall market is not the sole responsibility of any commercial market leader; building a viable business is. By building a viable business the products and services that are offered become less expensive and more effective. However… there are few commercial business people working with the NHS today, who are only interested in making money. For the majority of us the motivation is also the opportunity to work in an area where people’s lives can be positively affected by what you do. A corollary of all this activity and commitment is that the whole market expands and new, entrepreneurial companies launch innovative products that stimulate the market leader. I am proud of the positive business relationships I have with many of my competitors.

From a commercial perspective Tunstall have done a more than average job of promoting Honeywell HomMed’s Genesis system since 2005. They have used their promotional capability and fully leveraged the funding from the Assistive Technologies Grant. However, and the anonymous contributor is correct, telehealth is not telecare and I wholeheartedly agree that a consultative approach is key when allied to a flexible product offering. Many companies, for instance, charge for their support with the result that many telehealth adopters have to develop their own internal understanding and capabilities. Honeywell HomMed does not charge for training and support. BEN (referred to as Birmingham/Pfizer) now have 66 monitors with patients and, since March, we have been providing their project with direct clinical support.

Offering a limited service won’t encourage adoption and integration. Tunstall may have now moved onto a new product but the market leading device is still the Genesis system. Honeywell HomMed has every incentive in making our customer’s Telehealth programmes a success. We are now building an effective infrastructure that will support all its users and help them to maximize the impact of their equipment and service. It will share best practice and encourage the adoption of Telehealth by removing potential barriers and sharing risk. We are doing this by working individually with customers to put in place preferential finance schemes, triage capabilities, logistical support, auditing processes, patient identification systems and telehealth/telecare pathway integration workflows. We only do Telehealth and we have a model (shown below) which has been successfully implemented and scaled (our biggest customer has more than 6,000 monitors). We use each of the constituent parts to frame the challenges to adoption with the customer and how we overcome them.

honeywell hommed telehealth diagram

A successful implementation may give a ROI in about 4 – 6 months but the different structures used make the comparison of data difficult (source: EU Commission: IPTS). We can offer assistive tools that will help to extract data that can be compared across different user bases but isn’t this a clinical question? Would a voluntary register whereby all users contributed an information dataset help to break through the tipping point?

Finally; Genesis is not a 1st generation product. The new Genesis DM² is a 5th generation product and stands a favourable comparison with any other home monitor currently marketed. Connected to it is LifeStream; a class leading server-based system with an effective, user friendly vital signs management capability containing very powerful disease management and data export tools.

I thank the anonymous writer for his valuable comments and obvious enthusiasm for Telehealth. I share his frustrations that wider adoption has not taken place. Now, how do we all make this happen?

Categories: Soapbox.