Living Independently

My DayJob mid-2003-end-2007. |


Super-quick pitch: Make sure your mom is OK without her having to wear or do anything.

Elevator Pitch: any adult whose aging parent lives alone worries a lot about them. Are they eating, sleeping, taking their meds (changes in these behaviors are often a warning sign of a health problem)? Living Independently installs a series of motion detectors which record activity throughout the house/apartment. A base station dials in to a host system every 2 hours to upload the collected data. These can be reviewed by the child (or other designated Care-Giver-s) to highlight the need to check in. If there's a higher-priority concern, like she hasn't gotten out of bed by 10am, or has been in the bathroom for 2 hours (most in-house falls take place in the bathroom), you'll get an email/page. (The service is currently called 'QuietCare'.)

Let's try a Positioning Statement like Geoffrey Moore would ask us to:

  • For people worried about a senior loved-one who lives alone...

  • Who is afraid that talking on the phone or even visiting doesn't give them an accurate picture of that loved-one's health...

  • We offer a non-intrusive service that monitors their movement around the house

  • In a way that catches changes in behavior that could be the sign of an impending change in their health that could result in them being hospitalized or needing to move into a nursing home.

  • Unlike emergency response pendants...

  • Our system prevents emergencies by catching early warning signs of changes in health. (And requires no behavior changes from the senior, so there's nothing to argue about.)

Some technical info/projects:

  • back-end system is all Open Source - LinuxOS, PostgreSQL, Apache, Python (batch data analysis), Zope/PHP (eventually the PHP and then the Zope got replaced with CherryPy).

  • Time Zone/DST handling for potentially global client base

  • re-architect to use task scheduler Metaphor to improve scalability/timeliness/consistency of analytics

  • account management interface customized to user role (family Care-Giver vs institutional caregiver vs admin staff, etc.)

  • status/alert distribution via SMTP, SMS, and custom UDP interface (no downstream-partners ready for Web Services)

Some stages of development

  • used X10 sensors (horrible)
  • switched to Xan Boo Sensor-s Continued to use custom-fab base-station that was forked from an email appliance.
  • sold direct-to-customer driven by PR, having buyer (adult-child) do installation (and having alerts sent by email-to-SMS to buyer's cellphone).
  • partnered with ADT, who would (a) do installations, and (b) call phone-chain of caregivers when receiving alert, and (c) advertise/sell. Outcome: they spent very little on advertising, failed to sell, and the installers they used (who otherwise installed panic-buttons, not security systems) were largely untrainable.
  • focused on selling to ALF-s in Enterprise model. Doing installations ourselves (flying around the country to do a building). Sending alerts as email/SMS to staff phones. Built alert-response dashboard UI.
  • tried doing retail sales ourselves with grey-hat SEO Lead-Gen driving phone-based close. Failed to get leads, failed to close the leads we got.
  • got bought by GE Healthcare.
  • finished development of Zigbee-based system? (reduced sensor-signal collisions in ALF environment)

Feb'2005 - seeking UNIX/LinuxOS SysAdmin/junior programmer (Zope/Python).

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