When you’re young you trip and fall, it’s not such a big deal. You simply get up with maybe a nasty bruise if you’re unlucky, and move on with your life. For the elderly, this couldn’t be any less true. A single tumble can be a matter of life and death.
I’m very aware of this, as both of my grandmothers, widows and in their 80’s, live in constant fear of having that one fatal downfall, which only intensifies with each passing winter due to the slippery nature of Finland.
Because they live alone, and because mobile technology isn’t in casual use, such a fall could unfortunately go unnoticed.
Estonian startup Rahu, a recent Garage48 Hardware and Arts graduate, has come up with a preventive care solution for the elderly, an invention that could save lives and get the elderly help when they need it, on time.
The Rahu wristband is quite simple to use. The elderly person wears it, and the wristband monitors and communicates the collected data with the Rahu smart monitoring centre. If the senior citizen does not get out of bed for a long time (excluding a night time period) or if there monitor detects sudden movements, such as a potential stumbling, the centre sends the caretakers (most likely family members) a text message or notification through the Rahu app.
There’s also the smart alerting which can call the family for a first check or alternatively call the emergency services, depending on the severity of the accident.
First thing which crossed my mind was what if the elderly simply removed the wristband, left it on a table or dropped it on the floor? False alarm I suppose. Nonetheless, receiving the text message or app notification would lead at least to a check-up phone call, which can’t be of any harm.
Rahu reminds me a little of Finnish Biisafe, a similar gadget for personal safety use, though Rahu has a more specified demographic of target users.
The Rahu team has been demoing their invention around startup events and getting some nice traction as well. They received the Tech Chill special award from the latest Garage48 meetup and last month they were among the 10 finalists in the Ajujaht TV-show about startups in Estonia.
Currently Rahu is still in Beta phase, testing out the product and looking into improvements. This space has been contested for some time but as the population ages, more and more people are going to be looking for solutions for their parents.
It’s cool to see hardware startups coming up with interesting and most of all important gadgets, especially when the ideas get wing in startup hackathons such as Garage48. Kind of proves we need more of events like those.
If you’re interested in contributing as a Beta tester you know where to click!