GrandCare is coming back to the home technology channel, hoping integrators are ready to sell and install solutions for seniors, handicapped individuals and others aspiring to live independently.
Launched in 2006, GrandCare targets seniors and people with disabilities (and their caretakers) with systems that combine social interaction, activity sensors and telehealth devices.
For its first years in business, the company used the custom installation channel to deploy its products. It’s fair to say GrandCare was the leading force in educating integrators on the home-health market and encouraging other aging-in-place vendors to participate in the effort.
While home-health technology enjoyed a high profile for many years in the channel — from about 2009 to 2012 — few integrators were able to make a significant dent in the market. In 2013, GrandCare left the channel to focus on institutional sales to healthcare and affiliated organizations.
The channel champion, Laura Mitchell, left the company at that time but is now back to lead GrandCare into the channel once again.
“GrandCare is re-launching a dealer program because the timing is right,” Mitchell says. “Everyone is aging. That’s a demographic we have on our side.”
CEDIA, the trade association for home technology professionals, is getting in on the action too. GrandCare and the association will hold 2.5-day digital-health training at CEDIA headquarters in Indianapolis beginning this quarter, and the category will feature largely at CEDIA Expo in September of this year.
The training, which will be held at a “huge discount” of $2,500 for the first session in Indy, will include both hands-on technical training as well as sales and marketing education.
About the GrandCare System and the Dealer Program
The GrandCare system starts with a dedicated touchscreen computer with apps for video conferencing, medication scheduling, messaging, reminders, photo sharing and more. Optional devices can be added to the system, such as motion sensors, pendants and medical devices such as blood pressure cuffs and glucose monitors.
There is no professional monitoring of the system. Instead, all communications are between the user and their caregiver(s). Access levels are assigned to each participant. For example, family members may be able to initiate a video conference or look-in, while healthcare workers may not. Pressing a panic button might alert everyone in the resident’s call book.
In fact, the product hasn’t changed that much since it was introduced nearly a decade ago.
GrandCare “went the tablet route for a while, but that didn’t really work out,” says Mitchell. “There were a lot of battery issues, or they would forget to plug it in, or they would drop it or couldn’t find it. There were also dexterity issues.”
She adds that a lot of GrandCare sales have come from customers who thought a Mac would do the trick, but abandoned it “after the seventeenth time trying to do FaceTime, especially with cognitive challenges.”
The experience, Mitchell says, “has to be magical.”
MSRP for a GrandCare system is about $1,000, and the fee for the end users is expected to be less than $100 per month, with dealers sharing in the revenues.