Deals

Lively raises $4.8M to keep grandparents out of dreaded nursing homes

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Image Credit: Lively

Seniors fear losing their independence more than death, and Lively helps keep them free.

Lively has raised $4.8 million for its technology that connects aging adults and their loved ones.

The company has built an “activity-sharing platform” that combines hardware and software to keep people tuned in to the activities of their parents/grandparents. The goal is to subtly use technology to give loved ones peace of mind without stressing out seniors.

“All of the products aiming to make seniors’ lives seemingly more comfortable often played off of fear and emergency response,” CEO and founder Iggy Fanlo said in an interview with VentureBeat. “Lively isn’t intended to monitor a critical medical condition or trigger personal emergency response. It’s about sharing the daily events of one’s life and routine for connection that fosters well-being and peace of mind. And it helps family members recognize when things do change in an older adult’s daily activity that may deserve attention.”

Lively has aging adults place a series of passive sensors around their homes in places like the refrigerator door or medicine cabinet. These sensors connect with a cellular hub without requiring a phone line or Internet connection.

Blending into the background, these collect data about the user’s activities such as medication times, entering and leaving the house, or eating, and they upload it to the cloud. That information is shared with a close circle of people, like children and grandchildren, through a web or mobile dashboard. The system also involves analytics, so if it records a significant change in behavior, family members will receive notifications.

More than 40 million people over the age of 65 live alone in the U.S., Europe, and Canada, and the AARP found that 90 percent of aging adults want to stay in their homes indefinitely while they age. Furthermore, studies have indicated that living independently improves self-esteem, health, and satisfaction for older adults.

The problem is that this causes stress and guilt for family members. Lively estimates there are 100 million people with some responsibility to care for them, whether it is family members, friends, or neighbors.

Lively passively collects the data and socializes it, so when families are talking with their parents or grandparents, they don’t have to ask questions about food or medicine, and can chat about more substantive topics. Fanlo said this not only reduces stress, but can actually improve the quality of communication.

Lively launched an unsuccessful Kickstarter campaign in April. However it was able to attract the attention of health corporation Cambia Health Solutions, which led this $4.8 million round, with participation from Lively’s seed investor Maveron.

Lively hardware costs $149, and a subscription to the software is $19.95 per month (first two months are free).