Devices & Diagnostics

Healthcare startup raises $2.6M for smart belt to deploy airbag to cushion seniors when they fall

Active Protective CEO Drew Lakatos said it will use the funding to support pilot studies with two senior care providers.

ActiveProtective's smart belt houses a micro airbag designed to cushion the user's fall

ActiveProtective’s smart belt houses a micro airbag designed to cushion the user’s fall

About 2.8 million seniors are treated in the emergency room for injuries related to falls each year, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. About 800,000 of these falls results in hospitalization —hip fractures account for just under one-third of these hospital stays. Medicare costs for fall injuries in 2015 added up to more than $31 billion.

ActiveProtective, a healthcare startup, developed a belt that can not only detect a fall but also deploy a micro airbag to protect seniors from injuries such as hip fractures when they do. The company raised $2.6 million in a Seed 3 round, according to an emailed statement from the CEO and Co-founder Drew Lakatos.

Lakatos noted that the Philadelphia-area company would use the new funding to support pilot studies in collaboration with two large senior care providers. He aded that the funding would also be used to expand applications for the device beyond senior care such as sports, high-risk occupations, and the military.

Among the investors in ActiveProtective are PrincetonBioPharma Capital Partners Fund, Leading Edge Ventures, PCOM Innovation Fund, Key Safety Systems, and Generator Fund. To date, ActiveProtective has raised $5.6 million, Lakatos said. Looking ahead, Lakatos said ActiveProtective plans to use its next round of funding for large-scale commercialization of the device.

Dr. Robert Buckman, a former trauma surgeon at Temple University Hospital and St Mary Medical Center in Langhorne, Pennsylvania, co-founded the company. He is the inventor behind the smart belt with an airbag that’s designed to deploy to cushion the user’s fall. Instead of using the pyrotechnics that car airbags rely on to quickly inflate, ActiveProtective’s device uses cold gas inflation to avoid needlessly alarming users. The belt is also equipped with Bluetooth technology so it can trigger alerts to an emergency contact.