Startup’s AI tech wrist-band predicts healthcare risks to elderly

Owlytics specializes in wearable-based analytics technology for the medical sector

A senior citizen wearing a Watcher, an AI-based wrist-band that monitors healthcare risks. (photo credit: OWLYTICS)
A senior citizen wearing a Watcher, an AI-based wrist-band that monitors healthcare risks.
(photo credit: OWLYTICS)
Ramat Gan-based start-up Owlytics Healthcare has joined forces with Halma, a global group of lifesaving technology companies, to help senior citizens access its wristband healthcare monitoring device.
Owlytics specializes in wearable-based analytics technology for the medical sector.
The AI-based technology provides “remote patient-monitoring solutions for independent and assisted living facilities, homecare agencies and other services that provide a high level of personal care and safety.” The company develops wristband-based signal analytics that collect personal health data so that machine-learning algorithms can assess personal fall risk and auto-detect fall events and abnormal physiological patterns, thereby enabling preventative care.
Founded in 2016, the idea was inspired by the co-founders’ own personal experiences, “which were related to beloved elderly family members who had fallen without [receiving] immediate response and care,” the start-up’s CEO, Gill Zaphrir, told The Jerusalem Post.
“It was also through early observation that sporting wearables signals may open a window for seniors’ personalized remote health monitoring,” he said.
Zaphrir explained that Owlytics “leverages smart sporting watches from Garmin and Samsung” and simplify their user interface so that it’s easier for the elderly to use.
“[We] stream all personal physiology and motion signals to our cloud analytics, build a personal baseline for each user and predict or detect risky events arising from personal norm deviation,” he said. “The Owlytics solution is designed to continuously and automatically detect falls, assess fall risk and provide early warnings of potential health problems. We combine the most stylish, brand-recognized smart watches with our Artificial Intelligence-driven analytics to create a personalized health-monitoring solution.”
Asked how this technology will change the way in which senior citizens are cared for, Zaphrir said that “it opens up a personalized and preventative care approach to predict elevated risk of fall and health pattern deterioration to help caregivers with early diagnosis and intervention.”
Addressing whether this technology could be used in hospitals, Zaphrir said that “the opportunity may develop with outpatient programs in which ‘fragile patients’ residing remotely from hospitals may be personally monitored for arising risks and early intervention” before deteriorating into a situation where they may need emergency hospitalization.
Early last year, the US Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services “released a group of remote patient monitoring reimbursement codes for chronic disease patients.
“This preventative federal initiative may cover elderly care with both senior living and aging in place,” he added.
According to Zaphrir, the service went commercial in Israel with an independent-living leading chain (Bayit Bakfar) and for seniors at home via the Moked Enosh call center.
He said that it is also marketed directly and via channels in the US senior-living segment.
“One of the US channel partners will be Halma’s daughter company CenTrak, which is a solution provider for hospitals and senior living,” Zaphrir added.
What does 2020 have in store for Owlytics?
The CEO said the company hopes to build an effective commercial organization for the US market.
“We also hope to grow to 20-plus senior living facilities and community customers, as well as strengthen sales, channel support and data science,” Zaphrir added.
According to Owlytics, Halma has taken a minority equity stake, which will enable the start-up “to accelerate its marketing and sales efforts with US senior living and collaborative care health insurance providers.”
The company added that this partnership “will also bring new technologies and capabilities to companies within Halma’s medical sector already operating in this market niche.”