Berlin Even a carpet edge can be dangerous. When seniors are injured when they fall, they often have to deal with the complications for a long time – especially in the case of elderly people, there is a risk of losing their independence. This is tragic for those affected and their families, and expensive for the healthcare system.
If Lindera has his way, many falls can be avoided. The start-up has developed an app that makes prevention easier: The system analyzes the gait pattern of the elderly and, on this basis, gives individual advice on how to make everyday life safer.
Founder Diana Heinrichs is on Thursday for this concept at the German Digital Prize “The Spark” with the second prize been awarded. Caresyntax came third with a system for the data-supported monitoring of operations.
Looking at her CV, it is not surprising that the 37-year-old wants to improve care with technology: During her studies she dealt with linguistics on the border to psychology, then she worked for six years Microsoft in communications before becoming self-employed in 2016.
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Nursing staff and relatives can use the start-up’s app to record the gait pattern of seniors – a few steps, even with a walker or walking stick, are enough. The software uses this data to create a three-dimensional model that displays parameters such as step height, step length and torso flexion. There is also a questionnaire that provides information on hearing and visual impairments, for example.
Analysis within minutes
As a result, the app provides suggestions for prevention: Which parts of the body should a patient train? Are the right tools being used? And what should nurses pay attention to? The measures are working: In one study, the frequency of falls was reduced by 18 percent and the number of hospital admissions was even reduced to zero.
“We don’t reinvent anything medically,” says the founder. However, Lindera radically simplifies and shortens the analysis: nursing staff can carry out an examination themselves with a smartphone, for which a doctor would otherwise have to come, and in just a few minutes. “The highlight is that cutting-edge medicine is suitable for the masses.”
This is the basis for the business model: if care facilities prevent falls, they save costs. The start-up cooperated with the operators during the development and is now specifically addressing them, explains Chief Operating Officer Swantje Müller. Ten percent of German nursing homes are now under contract – without having invested a single euro in marketing.
Developing the technology was a challenge. Diana Heinrichs reports that experts doubted that the smartphone camera would be sufficient for precise movement analysis. “We’ve heard it so often: ‘That’s not possible.'” After a long period of development, movements can now be measured with millimeter precision, even if a walker is in the picture or the neon lights of the nursing home are dazzling.
After a financing round of six million euros last year, the start-up wants to adapt the technology for other applications. According to the founder, the movement analysis is also suitable for dealing with diseases such as multiple sclerosis or Parkinson’s. “The scaling potential for other areas of application is high,” praised the jury of the “The Spark” digital award.
Heinrichs compares her start-up with Amazonwhich has evolved from a bookstore into a “Everything Store”: “Based on our data and customer inquiries, we can see that we can solve many more problems.”
Caresyntax makes operations safer and more profitable
Caresyntax is also about cutting-edge medicine. The start-up develops software that already provides doctors with data about the patient at every step of an operation, helps to clarify errors and is intended to warn of increasing risks in the future – like the on-board computer in an airplane.
With this technology, the start-up around Founders Bjorn von Siemens took third place in the German digital prize “The Spark”. The jury praised that the data-driven platform makes operations “smarter, safer and more profitable” and also offers the potential for global scaling.
Caresyntax brings together a wide variety of data on the platform. This makes it possible to film operations from different angles and then evaluate the recordings – in compliance with data protection regulations. “Surgery has already become more efficient because you better understand what causes certain delays or errors,” says von Siemenswho is Chief Business Officer.
The system has proven itself. According to Caresyntax, it is used in 2,800 operating rooms worldwide, in which more than three million patients are operated on every year. In addition to clinics, customers also include insurers who have to pay for damages in the event of treatment errors.
After a financing round of 130 million dollars last year, the start-up is developing the technology further. It trains algorithms to warn of critical situations and provide recommendations for action. The data from previous years serve as a basis.