Minnesota-based aging in place technology company Healthsense has raised $7 million in its fourth round of funding led by new investors Merck Global Health Innovation Fund and Fallon Community Health Plan. Healthsense offers a remote monitoring platform for the senior care market called eNeighbor, a WiFi-enabled passive monitoring service that alerts care givers to emergencies like falls.
The eNeighbor system can include a PERS pendant, motion sensors, bed sensors, toilet sensors, and other contact sensors placed around the home. According to the company, these track the senior's "activities of daily living" or ADLs.
In May 2011 Healthsense inked a deal with Verizon that saw the telecom provider marketing the Healthsense platform to senior living communities that have FiOS connections already installed.
In 2010 Healthsense funded and participated in a study that showcased the savings a senior housing facility equipped with Healthsense technology could bring over a standard nursing home. The study found that safely moving 33 elderly residents from nursing homes and into a new supportive housing complex in Philadelphia, resulted in savings of $1.85 million annually. According to the study, Healthsense's technology monitored the seniors for almost two years and the combined cost of technology and staff support for all 33 of the residents was $288,600 for one year in supportive housing vs. $2.14 million for the nursing home care. The annual cost of Healthsense's sensor technology alone was $39,000.
At the beginning of this year, the Merck Global Health Innovation Fund also invested in Physicians Interactive, which offers the popular Skyscape suite of mobile medical applications.