28 June 2017 | News
Z-Works has developed an IoT-based platform called Life Engine, aiming to reduce the burden of professionals and family members caring for elderly people.
Tokyo-based Z-Works, the Japanese startup developing IoT (Internet of Things) healthcare monitoring solutions especially for elderly care, has secured 400 million yen (about $3.6 million) in a series A round.
Participating investors in this round were Spiral Ventures, Canon Marketing Japan, Infocom, Lixil, Kokusai Kogyo, plus the KSP Venture Investment Funds by Kanagawa Science Park. Coinciding with this funding, Spiral Ventures’ partner Hiroshi Oka, and Infocom’s Open Innovation Center chief Yoichi Shirono will join Z-Works’ management board as external directors.
Z-Works has developed an IoT-based platform called Life Engine, aiming to reduce the burden of professionals and family members caring for elderly people, by leveraging a variety of sensors and a cloud-based platform to remotely watch over the elderly without possible invasion of their privacy.
It intends to prevent the elderly from becoming bedridden, especially during the period between life expectancy and health expectancy — 9 years for men, 12 years for women on average each.
Using a heart rate monitoring sensor, motion sensors and other sensors which are not required to be attached to the elderly people’s bodies so that they are unlikely to feel uncomfortable, the system can remotely monitor their heart rate, breath rate, getting out of bed, turning over in bed or taking an extra-long bathroom break so that caregivers will be notified when necessary or something unusual.
Among the investors participating in this round, Z-Works has been partnering with CMJ to develop a system that enables remotely monitoring elderly people’s rooms, planning to deploy it into 115 care homes in Japan run by Japanese nursery care provider Sompo Care Next.
Alongside this, CMJ will also set up a new department specifically focused on an elderly care business. Meanwhile, another investor, Kokusai Kogyo, is supporting Z-Works by offering an indoor location detection technology which works without GPS (global positioning system).