With aging populations in countries around the world, we need tech to help address the needs of the elderly. Birdie, a London-based agetech startup, is building a holistic home care platform to help the older adults live independently in their own homes, using apps and connected devices to track their well-being.
Founded in 2017, the startup has just closed a €7 million Series A funding round led by AXA. Birdie will use the funds to develop its product further, scale-up its 20-strong team and increase its partnerships with care agencies nationwide.
Through its digital apps and connected devices, Birdie optimises care in three ways: it allows care providers to ‘go paperless’ by digitising cumbersome and time-consuming admin and reporting; facilitates communications and the sharing of information of an older adult’s care between care professionals, families and other health practitioners; and allows families to follow their elderly loved one’s health and wellbeing 24/7. Birdie is also developing health analytics technology, leveraging the data captured by care professionals and the remote sensors. Its algorithms track health conditions, predicts issues at risk of worsening, and alerts the right people at the right time.
There are approximately 2 million frailer older adults requiring home care in the UK and 3.6 million family members acting as carers in a $15 billion social care market that is set to double in 10 years. Domiciliary care can be up to 40% cheaper than care homes, and yet the services provided at home are held back by underfunding, as well as issues with care staff recruitment and retention.
Guillaume Borie, AXA Group Chief Innovation Officer commented: “The pace of innovation in the care industry has not met market demand for quality care of senior adults. Birdie’s ambition is to become the alternative to care homes. Supporting effective and quality domiciliary care using technology will have a radically positive social impact on an elderly individual’s quality of life and that of their family. We think it will also have a wider positive economic impact on public health services that are currently floundering under the pressures of an ever-growing ageing population. Birdie has an impressive, exciting and scalable proposition that will change the way elderly home care is currently managed.”
Stephane Guinet, CEO and founder of Kamet Ventures, commented: “In a world where virtually every corner of our lives has been disrupted by technology, it’s astounding to think that the management of elderly care has largely remained untouched by such innovation. This is a sector that is crying out for meaningful support and modernisation on an unprecedented scale, and what Birdie are creating will be game changing for the care industry and society.”
Max Parmentier, CEO of Birdie, commented: “We believe the future of elderly care is at home. Care homes are too expensive for many families and often lack capacity. More importantly, older adults want and deserve to stay in the comfort of their own home. Increased budget cuts mean more caregivers are unable to continue their work; and that’s just the beginning, given that the number of dependent older adults is set to triple over the next twenty years. We found these problems across Europe, Asia and America, not just the UK. In other words, we’re currently facing a global societal crisis that is a ticking time bomb. And we need to address it urgently. At Birdie, we do not accept the status quo. We are the world’s first holistic platform that builds the right technology and service model to address these issues”