“The Dona Care solution consists of a connected watch with advanced sensors and an automatic fall detection system.”
How do we care for our senior relatives when we are not close by? This is the challenge that Life Plus wants to address with its connected solution Dona Care, winner of the Datavenue Challenge in the “Sales” category. Nicolas Chiquet, CEO of Life Plus, tells us how it works.
What is Life Plus’s story?
Since late 2015, Life Plus has been developing technologies to prevent frailty in people over the age of 65. Our solutions aim to prevent people from becoming frail and, ideally, prolong independence. There are around 20 people in our company, all from a variety of backgrounds but most are technically minded. This in-house expertise enables us to develop our solutions from start to finish, with experience in hardware and servers, software and data, and design and marketing.
What is Dona Care?
Dona Care is our dedicated solution for retirement communities, EHPADs (“Établissement d’hébergement pour personnes âgées dépendantes” — French residential care for senior citizens) and senior citizens in their homes. Its main component is a connected watch, launched in late 2019, which has advanced sensors and an automatic fall detection system. In the event of a fall, the device immediately sends an alert to our servers and triggers a sequence of events that we have set up with the user. It can be used to notify a caregiver or close neighbour, or to send for a call-out if the situation is more serious. The sensors also enable the person’s health and activity to be monitored. Using the algorithms that we developed in collaboration with doctors, we suggest personalised activities to those with the device and send them digital activity reports.
What design challenges did you face?
First and foremost, we had to design a watch that was both stylish and ergonomic for senior citizens. To this end, we spent more than 2 years developing the product with the help of 30 testers aged between 60 and 98. We came up with an attractive, intuitive watch that boasts easy-to-use functions and a very high usage rate. For the connected part of the watch, we opted for the LoRaWAN network, deployed by Orange throughout France, to transmit the alerts in case of problems (falls) both outdoors and indoors.
How does your partnership with Orange work?
We have been working with Orange since 2016, when the LoRaWAN network was rolled out. We were among the first customers to benefit from it and we rely on its technology for both home and facility solutions. We have the ability and expertise to increase network coverage by installing antennas as close as possible to our users to ensure the best quality of service. For such a critical issue, it is important to be able to count on a reliable infrastructure. We are very proud to have won the Datavenue Challenge and to be continuing our collaboration with Orange to offer an increasingly comprehensive and innovative healthcare and prevention solution for senior citizens.