Aiva Health receives investment from Google’s Assistant Investment Program
Voice powered care assistant, Aiva Health has received a significant investment from the Google Assistant Investment Program -- the program’s first foray into healthcare. All capital received will work to further its development and deployment across the healthcare sector, in order to deliver enhanced, quality patient care.
Utilising Google Home, Amazon Echo and other smart speakers to engage and empower patients and seniors, as well as connect them more closely to their caregivers, its voice OS is built on a suite of enterprise applications. Aiva Health is the program's first healthcare investment to date.
Encompassing a mobile app for caregivers to manage help requests, a dashboard for performance reporting and a backend for controlling the voice assistants’ settings and their interaction with other IoT smart devices like TVs, lights and thermostats, the technology is set to become an industry gamechanger.
“Voice is the new mobile for delivering better healthcare,” said Sumeet Bhatia, Aiva’s Founder/CEO. “We’re thrilled to be working with the Google Assistant Investments team to help expand our offerings and improve care for people who need it the most.”
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Aiva’s other investors include Act One Ventures, Mucker Capital, Techstars and the Cedars-Sinai Accelerator Powered by Techstars.
“It’s exciting to see Aiva pushing technology even further, using voice to improve vital human interactions like caregiving,” added Google Assistant Investment Program lead and Dialogflow founder Ilya Gelfenbeyn.
Aiva supports hospitals, physician offices, skilled nursing facilities, senior communities -- and in the home. For seniors, voice assistants also connect them with friends, family and neighbours through hands-free phone and video calls, alleviating loneliness. Perhaps most importantly, the assistants remind seniors about events, outings and activities, making life more fun and social.
The company is witnessing increased competition from traditional healthcare companies and technological innovators. Launching its health-focused voice control technology, Alexa Skill last year, the Mayo Clinic is at the forefront of utilising disruptive technologies. Healthcare insurer, Cigna has also launched its voice control technology “Answers by Cigna” for Amazon Alexa.
Birdie aims to reinvent elderly care with tech
British startup Birdie has announced it has raised £8.2 million to invest in innovation and scale up the business.
The company's announcement is timely as it follows the criticism of the UK government over their lack of a plan for social care, despite acknowledging the sector is in crisis - around a quarter of the UK's home care providers are on the brink of bankruptcy due to a lack of funds and staffing.
Birdie was born with a mission to "radically improve the lives of millions of older adults", by using app-based solutions, IoT and machine learning to put preventative care at the forefront. The company was founded by Max Parmentier, after experiencing his own frustrations with the care system - his grandfather struggled with the impact of life in a care home, but lacked any other option.
In 2017 Parmentier partnered with venture builder Kamet Ventures to set up Birdie, in a bid to fix this problem. Since then, Birdie has partnered with almost 500 providers across the UK, and supports more than 20,000 older people every week. In the past 12 months alone the number of people Birdie supports has got six times greater.
Birdie’s solution is an app to help care providers deliver more coordinated, personalised and preventative care, by giving them access to digital assessments, medication scheduling and planning tools. By using digital tools to take care of admin, staff have more time to spend with their care recipients.
The new investment will be used to fund Birdie’s next phase of growth in the UK, as the company scales to meet the rapidly growing demand of the aging population. The company will also invest in product innovation, creating new features to address customer requests.
In addition, Birdie is piloting new care models, including partnering with the NHS to identify COVID-19 symptoms, building predictive pharmacy models with AI, and helping health authorities to detect early warning signs of patients’ health risks.
Internally, Birdie is committed to having a progressive company ethos. All salaries are transparent, and staff work asynchronously to maximise flexibility and equity. Staff members also volunteer in their local community during office hours, and the company offsets all its emissions.
These efforts have led to numerous awards, including having the best SME culture in the UK, an Honorable Mention in the Health category of Fast Company’s 2021 World Changing Ideas Awards, and innovation in care at the LangBuisson awards.
“We believe the future of care for older people should be helping them to live at home for as long as possible through the delivery of personalised and preventative care" Parmentier said.
"Birdie is already the partner of choice for caregivers up and down the UK, and this new funding will help us rapidly increase the number we partner with and what we can offer them - meaning more people benefiting from more affordable, quality care. We’re proud of our mission and the values we embody to pursue it.”