Internet Initiatives Development Fund (IIDF) is investing 45 million rubles in the Life Button project.
This financing was round B for Life Button. The project earlier received investments from I.T. Group, and at the initial stage was funded by a pool of business angels.
"In fact, Life Button is opening a new business area for the country - medical alarms, which is part of a vast global industry - mobile health. In large cities, people don't have the ability to visit their elderly relatives often, but they are concerned about their health. The round B investments are also allocated for the launch and development of a user-friendly mobile application, allowing relatives to always be informed about how their loved ones are doing. Earlier funding from IT helped the project rise to a new level: cooperation began with regional welfare services and more," says Maksim Steigerwald, IIDF Investment Director.
"I.T. Group's investment has truly become 'smart money' for the project and allowed significant expansion of the range of services and technology of the system. In 2012-2013, several projects were implemented to use Life Button for social security authorities, and the number of system users significantly increased. IIDF's financing allows the project to progress to a new scale of activity and actually become a nationwide emergency system," noted Dmitry Torshin, Investment Director of I.T. Group.
"Life Button is a very necessary and socially important technological solution for our country. The population of our country continues to age, and by 2030 people aged 65 and older are expected to account for 28% of the population. Our mission is to develop the project to such a level and scale that it would be possible for every person who needs it to have a medical alarm in his or her pocket to call for help at any moment," says Irina Linnik, Commercial Director and co-founder of the project.
Life Button is the first emergency call system allowing the elderly and disabled to reach a 24/7 medical call center and receive urgent care and support when their relatives are not around with just one press of an SOS button. Today there are over 18 million elderly people in Russia, about 6 million of whom, according to statistics, will require emergency care in 2014 (over 2 million of them won't be able to call for help on their own). Over 1.5 million people are likely to forget their home address and it would be difficult for them to find their way home.
If an elderly person needs help, he/she just has to press the SOS button on a special device which he/she would always carry with him/her (worn around the neck as a pendant, on the wrist, on a belt, or it could be an alarm button on a mobile phone or a blind dial feature) and the signal will be immediately sent to the Help Center. Based on the person's symptoms, an agent will determine the problem and if necessary will alert the caller's relatives and/or neighbors, or call an ambulance, police or Federal Rescue Service. The Help Center keeps medical records of service subscribers (key illnesses, drug acceptability, allergies, etc.), which will significantly increases the efficiency of assistance.
Additionally, the device can include a drop sensor, which will signal that help is needed even if a person couldn't press SOS themselves. There are also devices with a location feature.