Older people are the fastest growing demographic group, and there are now more people over the age of 65 than under the age of five for the first time in history. In 2015 in the EU alone, the so-called “silver economy” was estimated to be worth €3.7 trillion, and is projected to reach €5.7 trillion in 2025. It is no wonder that the tech world is taking notice and age tech, the emerging sub-sector of health tech focusing on technology and innovation to improve the lives of the elderly, is poised to grow very fast. Several startups are already leading the pack in the age tech revolution.
Here are five promising European startups that are currently serving the elderly:
No Isolation is a Norwegian startup founded in October 2015 that aims to reduce loneliness and involuntary social isolation by developing communication tools helping those affected. Their first product AV1, is a telepresence robot that acts as a child’s eyes, ears and voice in the classroom, enabling children and young adults with long-term illnesses and disabilities to continue participating in educational and social activities. No Isolation’s second product KOMP, geared towards the elderly, puts it squarely among the EU’s promising agetech startups. KOMP is a one-button screen that receives pictures, text messages and video calls, helping seniors living far from their families who may not be confident with mobile phones or computers, to connect with family members more frequently. No Isolation’s lofty goals resonated with investors, and the startup has received close to €10 million to date across several rounds of funding.
Birdie, a London-based startup founded in 2017, is a holistic care platform providing tailored preventive care for older adults so they can live independently in their own homes. Birdie uses apps and home connected devices to track elderly well-being in real-time. It has also developed healthcare analytics using data from carers’ reports and connected sensors to deliver better preventative care. Currently Birdie has four key features: a medication manager, task planner, carer app and a family app. The medication manager is for the easy creation of medication schedules, keeping track of administration, and getting alerts in real-time whenever there are concerns. The task planner enables creation, in just a few clicks, of tailor-made task plans for every care visit. Both features work seamlessly with the carer app, where healthcare providers can create tailored reports and audit care visits in real time and the family app, where families are kept up to date with the latest information about the care and wellbeing of the older adult. Birdie secured €7 million Series A funding from Kamet Ventures and AXA last November.
Swedish startup Nectarine Health (formerly Noomi) is an AI remote care solution developed to assist senior and independent living facilities. Nectarine’s unobtrusive, lightweight and long-lasting wristband collects data that is streamed directly to a cloud-based platform via one or more nodes placed around the elderly’s living space. AI and an easy-to-use app allow for monitoring emergencies and subtle changes in a person’s daily routine. Alerts and insights are then accessed through mobile and web apps. With Nectarine’s management portal senior living facilities can configure insights and alerts for individual users, as well as providing an overall view of the system. Nectarine Health, re-branded from Noomi AB, is a spin-off of Aifloo AB, which went bankrupt in July 2018. It received a €4.4 million Series A funding round in August 2018.
cettefamille which translates to “this family”, is an affordable alternative to retirement homes in France. Founded in 2016 and based out of Normandy in Northern France, cettefamille is a network of professionals and accredited families all throughout France that matches the elderly with welcoming homes. It offers a comfortable, personalized alternative to group living in nursing homes and retirement communities. The receiving family is trained in elder care by professionals, and accredited by the government. The cost per month is also to two to three times lower than traditional retirement home options. In addition to connecting elderly folk in need of homes and receiving families, cettefamille also provides bespoke solutions for organizations and companies dealing with the elderly and those with reduced autonomy. In October 2017, cettefamille received €2 million in seed funding from Newfund, Normandie Participations, and Philippe Perrin.
Founded in 2014, London-based SuperCarers is an online platform helping families find experienced and fully vetted carers in their area. SuperCarers differentiates itself from care agencies by identifying qualified carers, personalizing matches, and giving users the tools to coordinate care directly with each carer. It provides different types of home care: day/night, live-in, and respite with the flexibility of having carers at home whenever they are needed and for as long as they are needed. Specialist home care for specific health conditions such as arthritis, cancer, dementia, Alzheimer’s, autism, reduced mobility, neurological conditions and even palliative care are also offered. In March 2018, SuperCarers received a €4.2 million in Series A funding from Mobeus Equity Partners, bringing its total funding to date to €5.5 million.
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