March 21, 2017
Supporting entrepreneurs in health protection
The Swiss Re Foundation’s 2016 “Entrepreneurs for Resilience Award” focused on our ageing population and ways to help people live more independently and longer at home.
The winner was SimpleTherapy, whose invention addresses gradual musculoskeletal deterioration, an issue that affects many elderly people and often results in falls, expensive hospital visits, and even fatal injuries. Physical therapy can help, but it is expensive, and often involves leaving the house for specific appointments. SimpleTherapy offers an online platform that uses artificial intelligence to assess patient needs and enables them to exercise anywhere and anytime by watching a personalised and adaptive rehabilitation video. It then adapts exercises based on user feedback, essentially inviting a virtual “physiotherapist” into the user’s living room.
Canary Care, the first runner-up, has developed an affordable home and personal activity monitoring system. Wireless sensors placed around the home record movement, door activity, temperatures and care visits, alerting Canary Care and relatives if there are concerns.
In third place were Care.com — a company that, through the “virtual assistance” of a pet avatar, engages patients and health providers to discuss health issues — and Kompaï, which developed an assistant robot to help the elderly, both in-home and in assisted living facilities.
The award program involves a financial grant of CHF 800 000 from the Swiss Re Foundation and, depending on the initiative’s nature, scope and needs, non-financial contributions from Swiss Re employees such as coaching and technical advice. The award is divided between the winner and the runners-up.