John Clinton

Conversation with Geoff Gross, CEO of Medical Guardian

Transcript…….

InHomeSafetyGuide (IHSG):
Recently, Geoff Gross from Medical Guardian sat down with InHomeSafetyGuide to answer a few questions. What drives your passion as a CEO?
Geoff Gross (GG):
Being in this business allows me and all our employees to be passionate every day. We have a group here that’s hard working, hard charging, invested-in-our-mission type of people. The service we provide is so easy to get in back of when you’re doing it every day. We get letters, we get emails, we get phone calls from our clients that say, “You saved our life. Thank god we have your service, because if we didn’t, mom could be in the hospital, mom could not be not be alive.” These are the things that allow you to come in every day and really get geared up to do what you do because not only are you building a business, but you are saving lives, you’re providing a great service and our entire company feels this way.

IHSG:
How do you maintain a balance between incorporating the industry’s newest technology while still keeping the device simple and easy to use?
GG:
There are more things going on now as we become more mobile and with fall detection where you have to charge certain devices, certain devices beep. You have some false positives when it comes to fall detection, but overall it’s still a very simple solution and that’s key because our clients still can get overwhelmed by having to press the button. Some of our clients, we hear the stories, will lay on the ground for 12 hours and don’t want to burden anybody. So the key to keeping it simple and easy is very important and we focus on that and understand that clearly.

IHSG:
How do you balance the stigma surrounding aging and the medical alert industry?
GG:
The big opportunity that we see here at Medical Guardian, for the medical alert system industry as a whole, is really the perception of the product and service. So, for years you’ve seen old commercials on tv where somebody is on the ground and they’re in bad shape and they need help. But people think they need to be old and in bad shape to need this service and it really is the opposite. This service is for someone who is independent, who is active, independent, who lives alone and wants to stay living there and independent and our solutions lets them stay living alone for on average for 5-6 years versus someone who doesn’t have it, because in that golden hour, when that incident first happens, they can get help right away. So it keeps them out of the hospital, it keeps them out of independent living or a nursing home and that’s what so important about our solution is that we want people to clearly understand that this is for someone who is active, who is young at heart, who maybe hasn’t had any falls or isn’t in bad shape, but just needs extra protection god forbid something happens just once.

IHSG:
How did your partnership with Florence Henderson come about?
GG:
When I was thinking of a spokesperson, Florence Henderson was my number one choice and really my only choice, because Florence is our customer. She is an 80 year woman who lives alone, who is very active and independent and wants to stay remaining that way for the rest of her life. She’s very passionate about life and she has a zest for life and she wants to continue to have that. Florence is very reflective for how we see our brand reflecting to our consumers.

IHSG:
How do you see the medical alert industry growing, and what are your hopes for Medical Guardian?
GG:
I think naturally the medical alert industry is still growing rapidly because there are a lot of baby boomers turning 65 everyday, 10,000 a day turn 65. This is a group who wants to stay living alone, active and independent. They have disposable income to pay for services like ours. They understand the market very much and they’re aware of the products that we have. So I think eventually our devices will go to the cell phones, the smart phones, they will act as the basis. This is not going to happen overnight, this going to happen over the next 5 to 10 years. I think what is happening now is our customers are transitioning from a home unit to a mobile unit. At this point about 50% of our devices we sell is now mobile, so people can use them in and around the home, but also on the go. If they go shopping, if they go traveling, if they go to stay with their children, that is very important, so I still think we’re still sort of migrating that way.

IHSG:
What do you like to do outside of work?
GG:
I love to travel, I travel a lot. I am very into basketball. My home team, the 76ers is a team I’ve been passionate about since I was a kid. Unfortunately, they haven’t had a lot of success recently, so I have to be invested in other things. But more than anything, I’m passionate about the community I provide with the Multiple Sclerosis Society in the Greater Delaware Valley. I’ve recently been added to the board of directors there and I run a fundraiser that’s called Preakness at the Piazza that’s raised over a half a million dollars over the last 4 years for local residents with MS. On top of what I do here at Medical Guardian, the MS Society is something that I’m very involved in and very passionate about and we provide help to over 15,000 local residents that suffer with MS every day.

Meeting with Geoff Gross of Medical Guardian and John Clinton of InHomeSafetyGuide in San Francisco

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