When grandma falls, SafelyYou is there to catch up with her (on video) – TechCrunch

The life of a technical journalist can be lifesaving. I speak to so many Founders – capable, smart, well-connected, and experienced Founders – who work on issues that really don’t matter. They may have been successful in raising funds. Maybe they’ve even put together a team of smart people like them. They solve problems that even though they run everything A ++ and change the world exactly the way they envision it, even though they make their board and VCs happy, it’s ultimately so fantastically futile. . I don’t want to name any names. Not to inspire existential anguish, but if you are reading this and you feel a pang in your heart of “God, what do I do with my life”, well, sorry, my friend, I am talking about you.

SafelyYou reminded me of all of the above because the company is deeply the opposite of it all. The team is solving a huge problem and will continue to grow at an absolutely terrifying rate:

“When I started this business, I didn’t even really know how much of a problem it was. I was just thinking of my own family, ”said George Netscher, founder and CEO of SafelyYou. He explains that all the women in his family older than his mother have Alzheimer’s disease. Her driving force is that it seemed like it would only be a matter of time before the disease struck her mother. “It turns out that it affects one in three people over the age of 85, one in nine over the age of 65. 20% of Medicare dollars are spent on this, and things are about to get worse. By 2030, the global costs of dementia are expected to double. In addition, the number of potential caregivers will be halved.

SafelyYou describes a national healthcare crisis that cannot be resolved with human force alone – a trend we are seeing in all aspects of the healthcare ecosystem. So instead of trying to find a way to train more nurses, SafelyYou solves part of the problem with a software solution: fall detection for patients in nursing homes and retirement homes. The company has just raised its $ 40 million Series B, led by Omega Healthcare, which has also prepaid $ 10 million to install the SafelyYou solution in nearly 1,000 healthcare facilities. SCAN Group, a mission-driven organization dedicated to maintaining the health and independence of older people, also helps fund. SCAN supports the growth of SafelyYou to expand the availability of its fall management technology to a wider range of seniors. SCAN Group is the parent organization of the SCAN Health Plan, one of the largest not-for-profit Medicare Advantage plans in the country. The two new strategic investors join existing investors Eclipse Ventures, Foundation Capital, Founders Fund and Data Collective Venture Capital, and the new round has brought SafelyYou’s total funding to around $ 70 million.

“We were immediately drawn to the mission of SafelyYou, which is not only an innovator and industry leader, but also supports our focus on improving healthcare facilities for staff and residents,” said said Vikas Gupta, Senior Vice President, Acquisitions and Developments at Omega Healthcare Investors. “SafelyYou reflects our passion for improving the lives of older adults, especially those who are most vulnerable – our residents with various forms of cognitive impairment, including Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. “

The company’s technology solution is simple, yet powerful. He installs cameras in every room where a resident of a nursing home could suffer a fall. The flows are all routed to a computing device in the care home and continuously monitored by an AI. The trick is that the cameras don’t record continuously – it’s important to maintain the dignity and privacy of the guests, while also promising needed medical help. When a fall is detected, video is recorded and the nursing home team can be alerted. Because the fall itself has been recorded and can be reviewed, the healthcare team will know if the resident hit their head on the way down or if it was a less serious fall. Without this information, the right thing to do is still to send the resident to the hospital – but by watching the video it is possible to see if this is needed.

George Netscher, CEO and co-founder of SafelyYou. Image credits: Safely

I don’t do this often, but I have to admit I have a very personal story here that I would like to share – for some really stupid reasons (forgetting to eat) I sometimes pass out. This happened to me a few months ago. When I came to myself, I realized that I had passed out and was falling. As a very tall and very clumsy human this is a real problem – falling from a height of 6.5 feet is enough to sustain very serious head injuries. Luckily, I was also recording a video presentation, so I knew there was a video recording of my fall. I looked at it groggy and wondered if I should dial 911. When I saw the pictures, I realized that I had just fallen like a sack of potatoes, without bumping into myself. head against anything. Shaken (but not stirred), I was able to continue my day without going to the hospital, which saved me hours of my life and hundreds of dollars in co-payment (because, well, the care health in this country are so fantastically shattered). These types of situations are so deeply frightening, but most people are unwilling to submit to 24/7 monitoring to avoid a trip or two to the hospital. SafelyYou’s solution would have avoided this as well, but in a context where I wouldn’t have had to sacrifice my privacy for a care team.

“I am not a repeat entrepreneur. It is a company that I intend to stay with forever. I do this because it is a vocation. And the same goes for my entire management team, ”says Netscher. “We all share a personal connection with Alzheimer’s disease; a very close connection, such as a parent or son with Alzheimer’s disease or some other type of cognitive impairment. We all think very differently, but we are all here for the same mission.

And this mission is shining brightly right now; the company has thousands of cameras in the field and has captured over 30,000 fall events throughout its history. Of course, this also means that SafelyYou is building a unique computer vision dataset around residents’ falls. Naturally, this is where a lot of the money raised in this cycle goes.

“We have more [in-care home video fall] data that anyone has ever had here. This is what allows AI to work with such precision. This helps our product in two ways. It’s not just a technology, it’s a technology-assisted care program, and the emphasis is quite heavily on the human element as well. We detect when someone has taken a fall with super, super high accuracy – higher accuracy than anyone has ever had. Today, we generate a false alarm by camera every two years. We are very proud of it, ”explains Netscher. “We know more about the Falls than anyone has ever known. We have seen more falls than anyone else in the world. We therefore have this expertise that we have an obligation to share. And so we’re posting our learnings on a regular basis, and we’re looking for ways to use our dataset to release a bunch of extra functionality.

“I still pinch myself for making all these VCs believe it’s financially scalable, when what we’re really interested in is just helping people and our own families,” Netscher concludes.

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