Illustrative image. (Shutterstock)

You know the famous “Beeps”, these warning devices for the elderly that allow you to warn in the event of a fall. They will soon belong to pre-history: there will no longer be any device to wear, and above all we will be able to detect much more than a fall, changes imperceptible by the human eye, and thus predict a deterioration in health. .

It is in any case the promise of Norbert Health, co-founded by the French Alexandre Winter, who has just announced a fundraising of 3 million dollars to develop a device which will allow, wirelessly and thanks to “sensors ambient ”using radiofrequency waves, to measure even minute changes (heart rate, breathing rate, temperature, movement, etc.).

A graduate of Telecom Paris, Alexandre Winter is a specialist in image processing and artificial intelligence, founder of several start-ups in the field. The latest, Placemeter, was bought three years ago by Netgear. He then stayed there and it was there that he met his co-founder, Patrick Collins, founder of the Arlo cameras, themselves acquired by Netgear.

The potential applications of these sensors in health are “huge”, But initially the two founders will focus on the“ aging at home ”market. "It is a market that already exists, growing very strongly, but with few solutions available at the moment. It’s also estimated that there are 5 to 6 million home care workers in the United States, notes Alexandre Winter. Our system will notably make it possible to give the alert, to tell healthcare personnel when it is necessary to go to see such a person because there are worrying signs ”.

The shock duo, “serial entrepreneurs ” successful, in any case convinced investors without difficulty. This first round of funding of $ 3 million, completed in two weeks, is led by LDV, a fund specializing in startups related to image processing, accompanied by Hardware Club, a Franco-American fund and Exor Seeds, the Agnelli family fund. Based in New York, where Alexandre Winter lives, the company will employ half of its researchers and developers in its French subsidiary.

The first device will not hit the market until the end of 2021, “But we already have a first prototype that works well” assures Alexandre Winter. The work of the coming months will be devoted to the development of software intended to exploit the data collected by the sensors


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