Fall detection gone mobile with $2.2 million funding

A positive but mysterious sign re investment in telecare/mHealth is the reported $2.2 million angel funding of a company called VoCare Inc., which combines a tablet computer with a cell phone and a pendant device that calls for help in case of a fall.  VoCare will launch with two pilot projects in November with Indianapolis-based American Health Network, a 200-physician medical group, and Wisconsin-based Marshfield Clinic, with 775 doctors.  Editor Donna would tell you more, but no website can be found (and it’s not the VoCare rehab in Ohio).  What is stunning is the cost structure:  $600 for the device plus $120 per month recurring fee.  Justification?  The Indianpolis Business Journal mentions ‘accountable care’ in the new health reform regulations, but when there are other devices with track records that track motion, gait, alert and report online….for far less….one wonders.  IBJ articleSummary and hat tip to MobileHealthWatch.

UPDATE 23 Sep. from reader Bill Thommen: This news article has misstated the correct information. VoCare is rolling out three products for a total cost of $600 and $120 per month for all three. (Complete telehealth is only $20 per month.) These products include a PERS (Personal Emergency Response System); a Safety Phone with built-in VOIP for home and cell for outside the home; and a mobile 3G tablet that includes all biometric monitoring, meds management, virtual video office visit and patient education. ROI is extremely strong, particularly when compared to current market options. Investment ROI stands to exceed even the most positive projections.

[Thanks for the clarification, Bill. Do you have the link we can’t find to more information on VoCare?. Ed Steve]

Click ‘Comments’ for further information including a link to a VoCare demonstration video.

2 thoughts on “Fall detection gone mobile with $2.2 million funding

  1. Who are these angel investors with money to burn?

    Who are these angel investors with money to burn? And who persuaded them that a pendant with fall detection is a good idea? Didn’t they read Telecare Aware on the Philips version?

    Anyway, I’d love to know who they are. I can point them to some young companies with proven products that will bring a good return on their investment.

  2. VoCare Info (Videos)

    Check these videos out! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_5A1dlBjlmc

    [Steve and Donna’s comments after viewing these two videos follow:]

    [Fascinating – thanks for the find, Gareth! I wonder what Microsoft will think about the rip-off of their branding? Not to mention what Eric Dishman of competitor Intel, Larry Minnix of the American Association of Homes and Services (AAHSA) and Mike Magee of Pfizer, will make of their apparent endorsement of VoCare! Ed. Steve]

    [In viewing both VoCare videos (parts 1 and 2), nearly all of part 1–the gentleman with the flowers plus Dishman et al– is copied (lifted) directly from the AAHSA/Center for Aging Services Technologies (CAST) video, ‘Imagine the Future of Aging.’  Aside from the ethical dubiousness of this technique, which implies endorsement of the product–there is no indication that permission was given to use the original footage. VoCare is not listed as a member of CAST, so this is puzzling. On this last, my marketing side is ringing all sorts of alarm bells of the legal type…would Mr. Thommen enlighten us on this issue?

    To view the real reason for seeing the video–a demonstration of the system– you’ll have to view part 2.  It’s an animation–does not appear to be real–of the tablet/phone/PERS combination. This is fairly conventional but it would be reinforcing to also see a real unit in action. It actually appears to be a unique and advanced system:  emergency alerts, telehealth and video connectivity with the tablet, and a mobile phone/alert/motion sensor. And here on part 2 are real endorsements: Marshfield Clinic and AHN, cleverly matched in lighting and backdrop to the Dishman/Minnix ones at the beginning of part 1.

    Final comment: it’s nice to have a video on YouTube but no website at this stage? Prior articles and LinkedIn give http://www.myonetouch.org but it is ‘under construction.’  Curious marketing move. Re Steve’s comment on the logo-the four color boxes, and one can only speculate on their meaning–it’s probably generic enough to escape a nastygram postmarked Redmond, WA, but VoCare could do better.   Ed. Donna]

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