23-12-2020 life sciences & health

Demcon invests in SmartQare’s intelligent wearable and healthcare platform

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Comprehensive healthcare solution in response to the greying population
Many seniors would like to retain their autonomy and continue to live independently at home as long as possible. This way they also help reduce pressure on the healthcare system caused by the greying population, in a personal and financial sense. This can be done from a medical perspective by continuously monitoring their condition (24/7). SmartQare has developed a comprehensive solution for this purpose. This solution consists of an intelligent, wearable care band and a platform for healthcare professionals and institutions. The smart analysis of the data produced by the wearable helps healthcare providers to intervene efficiently and on time. The wearable is the first medical device to make use of the Internet of Things for this purpose. Technology developer and producer Demcon, in close cooperation with SmartQare, will continue to develop this innovation into a professional product. In addition, Demcon, together with other parties, will be investing in the start-up.

SmartQare, founded in 2017, has developed a wearable device for home monitoring that is put on the client’s arm as a care band. The wearable continuously – 24 hours per day, 7 days per week – monitors the wearer’s vital functions. This includes parameters such as heartbeat, oxygen saturation and skin temperature. In addition, the wearable includes fall detection and accurate location determination in case the client has fallen or starts wandering. Naturally, it also includes an alarm button. The SmartQare stands out due to its ease of use, wearing comfort and long battery life.

Value-added platform and data
The real added value of this innovation lies in the platform provided by SmartQare. The healthcare providers, ranging from the family doctor, informal caregiver and home care provider to the nursing institution and the hospital, are involved in the monitoring via this platform. This enables the right instance to take action in the event of an alert. First of all the healthcare system benefits because this device reduces the use of expensive facilities in healthcare institutions, because people continue to live at home longer. Second, fast response and effective interventions due to the continuous monitoring limit healthcare costs. The platform collects medical data via the wearable, naturally with effective data security measures in place and with due consideration to the privacy regulations. This is the first medical device to make use of the Internet of Things for this purpose. This makes outdoor monitoring possible and does not limit the wearer’s – healthy – freedom of movement. Healthcare professionals can use the data for analyzing the medical problems and healthcare needs of seniors. Over time this can help further improve the quality of life, design a more efficient healthcare delivery system and optimize cooperation among parties involved in the platform.

Development
SmartQare will be introducing its innovation in cooperation with healthcare professionals and institutions, and when proven successful, will also supply consumers directly. Technology developer and producer Demcon has been engaged to develop this innovation into a professional product. ‘If seniors can live independently at home for longer, this is very important for themselves and for society,’ says Jemy Pauwels, Director Investment at Demcon. ‘We have a great deal of experience developing medical technology that can contribute to solutions for social problems, such as the overburdened healthcare system. Demcon has all the expertise in-house needed for designing systems that meet the requirements of healthcare professionals and patients alike. In addition, we are able to reliably produce wearable devices in accordance with the guidelines for medical products.’

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Investment
In addition to technology development and production, Demcon also makes a contribution by making an investment. It is participating in the new investments round SmartQare requires to bring the innovation up to a professional, market-ready product. Walter van Kuijen, CEO of SmartQare, emphasizes the importance of this investment: ‘Our system has the potential of being the catalyst for a shift in the medical world towards greater autonomy and care at home. Our goal is to enable our clients to experience freedom by giving them the certainty that they will receive suitable care at the right time and at the right place. The biggest challenge in innovations like this is to involve the healthcare world. The fact that partners such as Demcon are giving this their full support opens doors to healthcare professionals, healthcare insurers and other medical parties.’ And to other investors, Pauwels adds: ‘The fact that Demcon is now on board as technology and production partner gives them the confidence that SmartQare’s innovation can grow into a socially valuable product.’

About Demcon
Demcon (750 employees) develops, produces and supplies technology and innovative products. The Demcon Group has branches in Best, Delft, Enschede, Groningen, Münster (Germany) and Singapore. The company was created as a result of the passion of its founders for combining creativity and technical skills focused on solving complex issues. These issues are of a technological and social nature and generally have a direct or indirect impact on people and their everyday life. Whether this concerns medical systems, systems that monitor our security or sustainable solutions relating to themes such as water and energy, Demcon makes a contribution for current and future generations. In addition to developing technical solutions, Demcon also focuses its efforts on promoting entrepreneurship and investing in talent and education.

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