R to L, ActiveProtective CTO Wamis Singhatat, CMO Drew Lakatos, and CEO R. Scott Jones pose after being announced as an XTC Finalist at CES in Vegas last month.
Like many great medtech companies, ActiveProtective started with a clinician recognizing a problem as solvable and working towards a solution. Dr. Robert Buckman wasn’t alone in realizing how devastating a fall can be for an elderly patient. But, as a trauma surgeon who saw patients facing life-threatening consequences after suffering hip fractures, he wanted to find a way to shield those most at risk.
A third of Americans over 65 fall each year and many of those falls result in broken hips. Hip fractures are often associated with a rapid downward spiral for elderly patients, who must endure invasive surgery, recovery time immobilized in bed, and, usually, a less active lifestyle moving forward.
ActiveProtective was born from Dr. Buckman’s quest to prevent injuries to seniors, rather than just treating them afterwards. Their solution is a high-tech belt system, one that monitors and analyzes the motion of the wearer to recognize a fall in progress in milliseconds and deploy airbags to shield the hips before impact.
After many prototype iterations, user interviews,deployment tests, and investor pitches, the ActiveProtective team was among the ranks of promising tech startups selected to participate in Sir Richard Branson’s 2019 Extreme Tech Challenge. The team also made the down-select to the semi-finals, where companies were invited to pitch before a panel of judges at this year’s CES conference in Las Vegas. It was there they learned they would continue their journey as a top three finalist to pitch the Smart Belt to the celebrity tech mogul in person this April--on his private Necker Island.
“We’re so proud of our friends at ActiveProtective for the way they’ve driven this technology forward to this point of being recognized as a medtech leader,” said Eric Sugalski, President of Smithwise. “I’m honored our team has been able to support them in their mission throughout the evolution of the ActiveProtective smart belt. Know that the whole Smithwise team is rooting for you.”