FARMINGTON HILLS — A company founded in 2006 to provide personal emergency response is on the grow, and soon will be on the move.
Critical Signal Technologies Inc. currently has a bid in on a new headquarters that’s about two and a half times the size of its 9,000-square-foot building on Haggerty Road north of Nine Mile.
Right now, “we’re 10 pounds of potatoes in a five-pound bag,” said Tom Reddy, executive vice president of operations at the company’s headquarters.
Critical Signal currently has about 130 employees, 90 of whom are in Michigan. It also has relationships with 500 contractors that install and service its remote monitors and sensors. It’s currently hiring everything from .Net developers and programmers to sales, business development and care center workers. Many of the call center workers have prior expertise in nursing or emergency medicine.
The company was the brain child of CEO and founder Jeffery S. Prough, former president of Guardian Alarm Co.
Prough said that early in the 2000s, Guardian “started to dabble in personal emergency response. I got more excited about that business than they were,” and left Guardian in 2005. He then wrote a mission statement for what because Critical Signal and raised $15 million in capital to start it.
“We built this care center without one customer — so it was a real field of dreams,” Prough said.
Critical Signal started selling services commercially Jan. 1, 2007 and has been growing since.
“I describe myself as someone obsessed with technology that allows people to age in place and cope with disease,” Prough said.
Critical Signal’s products range from simple wearable pendant panic buttons of the “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up” variety to sophisticated systems designed to monitor customers’ blood pressure, weight and movements. There are also complex medication dispensers that help people on multiple medications to remember to take them at the right time in the right dosage.
There are also fall detectors, carbon monoxide and smoke alarms, flashing lights for emergency notices for those with hearing problems, door and window intrusion detection, sip-and-puff breath-activated sensors for those with mobility challenges, and wireless cameras for remote look-in options.
“We have a pretty aggressive hospital readmission prevention program,” Prough said. “We really emphasize compliance. The No. 1 reason people bounce back to the hospital is they don’t go see their doctor when they’re supposed to and they don’t take their meds.”
Increasing emphasis on cutting health care costs and adopting sophisticated technologies will only fuel further growth for the company, Prough and Reddy said.
“Politics aside, all health care reform does is put more light on these issues,” Reddy said.
As for technology, Reddy said he expects more wireless Internet technologies in the years ahead, taking medical monitoring anywhere.
More at www.criticalsignaltechnologies.com.