Medical alert systems (MAS), also known as Personal Emergency Response System (PERS), are alarm systems designed to alert linked healthcare facilities in case of any medical hazard or injury requiring immediate medical attention. Medical alert systems are usually marketed with a wireless transmitter designed as a pendant, which can be activated in a medical emergency. Disabled and elderly people who do not live with their family members are the major users of these systems. Currently, the medical alert systems market is highly attractive due to rapidly aging population and increasing awareness among the populace.
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High demand for monitored systems
The global medical alert systems market comprises of devices with different functions and features decides the end price of the product. The market has been segmented on the basis of device type, technology, and end users as follows:
- Type of medical alert systems:
- Standalone/Wall-Mounted Devices
- Medical alert system technologies:
- Two-way voice systems
- Unmonitored medical alert systems
- Medical Alert Alarm (Button) System
The only advantage of non-monitored MAS is that it does not require a monthly fee to be paid to the monitoring company as in the case of two-way voice system and Medical Alert Alarm (Button) System. The monitored MAS on the other hand, helps save time in contacting or alerting the health service provider, does not require updating non-monitored voice dialer, and helps provide emergency help in less time than non-monitored systems.
- End users of medical alert systems:
- Senior care centers
- Nursing homes
- Old age homes
- Individual patients
Increasing consumer awareness about the technology and its various benefits is creating a highly conducive environment for growth of the market.
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Few devices in the medical alert systems market: Life Alert, LifeStation, Medical Alert, Philips Lifeline, MobileHelp, Bay Alarm Medical, Alert1, Medical Guardian’s MAS and Rescue Alert.
Developed Economies still to achieve maturity for the medical alert systems market
Developed economies such as the U.S., Canada, U.K., Germany, and Japan are characterized by high adoption rate of emergency alert systems from the large geriatric population. Moreover, due to high incidence rates of injuries due to fall from beds and upper bunks, the market for medical alert systems is expected to grow further in developed regions. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one in three senior citizens aged 65 and above, fall down from bed and upper bunks each year, in the U.S., and 20% to 30% of them suffer from serious injuries due to the fall. However, with certain issues in the current medical alert systems, there is an immense scope for technological development in the device. For instance, Lifestation, Inc. is facing a lawsuit filed by a customer claiming to receive unsolicited calls on his cellphone from the Lifestation MSA device. Moreover, limited reimbursement for this device is hindering demand in the U.S. and Canada.
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Devices with comprehensive range of features are a threat to standalone MAS devices
There are new devices being launched with additional features. Philips launched a new MAS device, GoSafe which has an auto-alert fall-detection and GPS tracking. Even wearables by Fitbit come with medical alert systems, in addition to their usual health tracking features. Stealth Technologies, Inc. also launched a device—911 Help Now—with no recurring monthly charge. These devices are a major threat for standalone MAS devices.
The medical alert systems market is projected to witness admirable growth due to increasing preference for emergency alert consoles, rapidly aging population, and increasing demand for medical alert systems in nursing homes and old age care facilities. However, product availability and pricing would be decisive factors shaping market growth.
Medical alert systems market is fragmented
The global medical alert systems market is highly fragmented, owing to participation of many established and emerging players in the market. Major players involved in the MAS market include AlertOne Services, LLC. Bay Alarm Medical, CarelineUK Monitoring Limited, Galaxy Medical Alert Systems, Ltd., Life Alert Emergency Response, Inc., LifeStation, Inc., and Koninklijke Philips N.V..
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