ActiveProtective draws $4.7M for fall-sensing wearable airbag

By Dave Muoio
02:54 pm

Fort Washington, Pennsylvania-based ActiveProtective, which makes a wearable airbag deployment belt for seniors at risk of a fall, has received more than $4.7 million in Series A funding, the company confirmed after a MedCity News article spread the word this morning. The round was led by Generator Ventures, with additional participation from the company's prior investors.

“ActiveProtective was founded on the simple belief that hip fractures among older adults, and their devastating consequences, could be prevented through the use of wearable technology,” the company wrote on its website. “We’ve demonstrated the ability to reduce impact force by 90 percent with our garments, which will provide an unprecedented level of hip protection.”

This latest round of funding will be used to make key hires, incorporate refinements gleaned from pilots, and continue the move toward commercialization, the company told MobiHealthNews. Along with previous funding received in 2012 and 2016, it brings the company to more than $10 million in total funding.

ActiveProtective’s belt contains a folded airbag, a cold gas inflator, and sensors that detect when the wearer is falling and trigger the system. It can alert caregivers of falls, airbag deployments, and other potential interventions via WiFi, and includes Bluetooth communications for additional capabilities. 

“We first set out on a mission to determine fall-risk factors, in order to identify those patients at a 15 percent or greater statistical probability of breaking their hip,” the company wrote on its website. “We then developed a methodology using 3D motion sensors to determine the stereotypical motions and accelerations that govern our normal, daily activities, in order to determine ‘departures’ from what is allowable. This simple-to-understand technique, called ‘fall disambiguation’, allows us to determine falls with unprecedented accuracy.”

According to the company, the system could also see potential applications beyond senior care and might also be of assistance to those participating in sports and fitness, serving in the military, or otherwise employed in high-risk occupations.

Along with Generator Ventures — whose own Katy Fike will be gaining a seat on ActiveProtective’s board — the other investors include Leading Edge Ventures, Princeton BioPharma Capital Partners, PCOM Innovation Fund, and Key Safety Systems.

Falls are a major risk to the independent elderly, and can often leave them bedridden with broken bones, organ damage, or subsequent infection. Other wearable technologies and garments have tackled the issue as well, although these primarily focus on data collection and fall prediction as opposed to prevention.


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