BALA CYNWYD, Penn. (May 13, 2021)—When Janet Dillione took over as CEO of Connect America last fall, there was a big item at the top of her to-do list: work out a deal to bring Philips’ Lifeline personal emergency response system (PERS) into the fold.
After all, it was the industry’s worst-kept secret that Philips was looking to sell its Aging and Caregiving (ACG) business, which includes the Lifeline personal alerts and 24/7 monitoring system, as well as other technologies.
“In our industry, which would be personal emergency response, health and safety, Lifeline is the king,” Dillione said in an interview with HomeCare. “You know how people say Kleenex instead of tissue? People say Lifeline instead of PERS—that brand is phenomenal. Once it we heard it would become available, to us it’s really all about complimentary assets. We have technologies, products and services and strengths that are different from what ACG has and we are excited to take advantage of those strengths and services that they have.”
Connect America announced May 5 that it was in the process of acquiring Lifeline; financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. In a news release announcing the deal, Connect America said subscribers to both systems will benefit from expanded service offerings and new innovations in connected care.
Dillione said the Philips ACG team had also been welcomed at Connect America, which calls itself the country’s largest independent provider of medical alert systems. She said plans were still in the works in terms of whether the brand will continue to stand on its own besides Connect America and Medical Alert, a PERS system owned by CA.
“I’m a product manager by training so it’s all to me about innovation and this is a phenomenal opportunity,” Dillione.
Dillione also said that pandemic has dramatically increased the public's adoption of telehealth and remote patient monitoring in all forms. It also brought challenges, although Connect America pivoted quickly to developing telephone and video services to set customers up virtually when they weren't comfortable letting technicians into their home. Now, supply chain issues are hitting all industries, but Dillione said that Connect America had secured their supplies well ahead of need.
“I would never say we’re not watching it; we are very cognizant,” she said.
For now, however, she'll be working with the Lifeline team that's coming into Connect America; she says the two have a common mission.
"We wake up every day to serve one mission: to help peope wake up every day, to help them age in their homes," Dillione said.