Philips' Consumer Healthcare Division has made another acquisition (press release). This time the target was Health Watch Holdings, a provider of emergency response services - yes, another one of those "I've fallen and I can't get up" companies. Philips paid $750 million for Lifeline last year, but pays only $130 million for Health Watch's 100,000 subscribers. Health Watch also distributes QuiteCare. I would expect an acquisition of a company with a product like QuiteCare at some point, unless Philips comes out with their own product.
Like everyone else circling the nascent home health/remote monitoring market, Philips wants to be a major player in home based chronic disease management. Unlike most everyone else, Philips is going after a related market that, you know, actually exists - the self-pay market.
The acquisition of Health Watch represents a further step for
Philips in building up its presence in the consumer healthcare market
a business-to-consumer market, where consumers generally purchase
healthcare products and services. Health Watch will add over 100,000
US-customers to Philips Lifelines existing base of more than a half a
million subscribers in North America, thereby further expanding
Philips presence in the regions personal emergency response market.
The deal will also increase the number of healthcare organizations and
healthcare referral sources in the Philips Lifeline network, further
contributing to future growth.
Philips Lifelines and Health Watchs twenty-four hour a day
services give independently minded seniors the confidence to maintain
an active life at home, knowing if they suddenly need help, they can
send an alert to a monitoring center indicating they need assistance.
Two-way communication allows a professionally trained operator to
establish the nature of the problem so that appropriate action can then
The business delivery system and customer base built up through acquisitions like Health Watch and Lifeline should allow Philips to move quickly when the Healthcare Unbound market actually takes off.
In the past year, Philips has gotten 15% growth from Lifeline and demographics will result in inexorable growth. Pictured right is a snazzy photo that Philips was nice enough to include on their web page with the press release.
With this news, I will not really wonder why Philips Lifeline is presently regarded as the leading provider of monitoring alert service for the elderly. It seems like the company refuses not to expand to widen their scope in the market. But then, despite of the popularity of this company and its strong credibility to a lot of health care professionals, I donâ€™t think that their offered service is perfect to most of the elderly.
First of all, the cost of Philips Lifeline is never friendly to the elderly. The device including the monitoring service fee is too expensive. Renting the device doesnâ€™t make a lot of difference from purchasing it. I believe that shelling out at least $30 for the monthly rental and monitoring service fee is too heavy for them.
I would also like to add that the way Philips Lifeline works makes it not too ideal for all of the elderly, especially for those who still want to live their life as normal as possible despite of their old age. My Auntie for one still wants to do the things she can by herself. And that includes gardening, buying the things she needs and a lot more. This means that she still refuses to be confined inside the house. With Philips Lifeline, it seems like the elderly will be limited to their own house just to secure their safety.
Good thing, the elderly can still walk even outside of their house with confidence that they will not be stuck in a bad situation helplessly. With the availability of Just5, they donâ€™t have to pay expensive amount or confine themselves inside of their house just to secure their safety. Just5 phone is basically a cell phone that is intentionally designed to work as PERS as well. After reading its features and cost, I strongly believe that this is the perfect device that the elderly can rely on for their safety.