INI-Novation GmbH invests in a Greek startup company
INI-Novation GmbH in Mühltal (Germany) decided to invest in the foundation of a startup company with technologies that transform the living and living environment of older adults into a “digital coach”. The aim of the Greek start-up “CAPTAIN COACH” is to support an independent life for older people in their home environment by motivating them to use innovative technologies for new ways of care and support. A positive impact for the health systems is that nursing staff and medical specialists are empowered to anonymously collect and use medical as well as emotion and behaviour-related data using such technologies.
The management and innovation consultancy company INI-Novation GmbH, which specializes in innovation management, is a consortium partner in the “CAPTAIN” project (https://www.captain-eu.org) funded by the EU program Horizon 2020, in which approaches for the simplified use of innovative care technologies were developed. For the successful operation of these so-called eCare systems, the startup CAPTAIN COACH uses state-of-the-art technologies that were developed as ubiquitous assistants for older adults to compensate for physical impairments and memory disorders during their everyday activities. For this purpose, CAPTAIN COACH offers systems consisting of micro projectors and sensors for detecting the presence and activities of the user. The user sets so-called “smart goals” through speech or gesture. An example of such an intelligent target formulation is: “I would like to call relatives”. In a defined period of time (e.g. once a day or per week), the user can then carry out his own activities, monitor them himself and, if necessary, improve or redefine his goals. The system intelligently regulates the sequence of motivating coaching goals and messages. CAPTAIN COACH transforms users’ living environments into an empowering space that offers interaction, care and support for an independent life with mental and social wellbeing.
Demographic change and social relevance of the startup
Demographic change has reached Europe. The prospect of an elderlies grows from year to year. The population is aging increasingly due to falling birth rates and increasing life expectancy. This advancing aging of society means that the number of patients with chronic diseases, multi-morbidity and the resulting functional restrictions will continue to increase. This changes the qualitative need for medical support and care. In rural areas in particular, it can be observed that an ever-smaller number of doctors is confronted with a steadily growing number of (older) patients. In addition, there is a drastic shortage of nursing staff.
This opening pair of scissors can be countered by using innovative technologies in order to be able to care for the carers and carers in their home environment by trained assistants. “With our investment we want to contribute to closing the gap between the medical care needed and the caretakers in order to significantly increase the quality of life and life expectancy of older adults”, explains Dr. Wolfgang Kniejski, the Managing Director of INI-Novation GmbH.
CAPTAIN COACH addresses many different target groups in the population
Angela Ivanova is responsible for the business development of INI-Novation GmbH and also for the start-up CAPTAIN COACH: “The combination of innovative technologies and personal care in the home environment makes it possible for older adults to live independently in a familiar home over a longer period of time, the hospitalization rate is reduced, and the quality of life can be maintained or even improved.”
Furthermore, so called “family carers”, the care organisations and the insurance companies are relieved, since in many cases only one-off support and no full care is required.
“This is positively impacting our society; CAPTAIN COACH brings less stress to the family, increases support in care, saves time, effort and costs.”
Invest and continue a successful collaboration
With a view to real sustainability, the ambitious goal is to establish this technology as a leading innovative method in home care. For this purpose, it is also planned that INI-Novation GmbH will not only invest, but also develop national and international partnerships to promote the spread and use of coaching technologies.
Synergies are achieved through appropriate cooperation with important networks, associations and institutions in relevant areas. These measures aim at the long-term sustainability of the partnership and at mechanisms to attract new interest groups and to bind key actors to the initiative.
The CAPTAIN product offers personalized coaching through new forms of accessible interaction and SMART target solutions that are seamlessly integrated into existing daily activities in the fastest and most efficient way.
INI-Novation GmbH offers leading expertise in supporting innovative business developments and innovation management. INI-Novation is a specialist in technology transfer with practical experience in the areas of innovation financing, innovation procurement for SMEs and in the development and implementation of relevant training events.