For Critical Signal Technologies, An Aggressive Approach to Growing the Telehealth Industry

Xconomy Detroit/Ann Arbor — 

Jeffery Prough, CEO of Critical Signal Technologies, is taking an alternative approach to reforming the healthcare system. Instead of getting caught up in political debate, Prough is using his business to try to improve healthcare conditions.

Critical Signal, the Farmington Hills, MI-based company that Prough founded in 2006, is already one of the five largest developers of personal emergency response systems in the country. But Prough says he’s on a mission to expand the company’s reach still farther. “It’s become my passion to, very simply put, let people age or deal with disease or chronic illness on their terms and typically in their own homes,” he says. His company aims to do that by using wireless monitoring and communications technologies to keep an eye on its clients and keep them linked with vital emergency and medical services.

Since launching Critical Signal, Prough says he’s taken an aggressive approach to growing the company, starting with the gamble he and four other investors took when they spent large sums up front to build their monitoring platform—which was larger and more advanced than that of most other companies at the time—with no customers lined up.

The risk paid off, the company continued to grow, and by 2009 it was even able acquire Link to Life, which Prough says was “a 30-year-old, long-standing, very large personal-response company” at the time.

Before launching Critical Signal, Prough got some experience in the field. While he was president and COO of Guardian Alarm Company he ran its telehealth subsidiary. That job made him increasingly concerned with “how poorly we treat older Americans.” Prough realized he was “a little more excited” about the prospects in telehealth than his colleagues at Guardian were so he decided to strike out on his own.

“You recognize how little we do for these folks,” he says. “I am emotionally tied to it because of personal experience and I am increasingly attached to it from the people we talk to every day.”

Those people are some of the 65,000 clients—up from zero in 2006—that now use Critical Signal’s products. Prough says the company’s core technology is … Next Page »

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