Superflex raises $9.6M for connected apparel
MENLO PARK, Calif. – Powered clothing company Superflex has raised $9.66 million in a Series A round of funding to develop connected apparel that can be worn underneath regular clothing.
“Superflex’s new category of ‘powered clothing’ represents, in our view, the future of movement, with profound physical and emotional benefits to offer global society,” said Yasuhiko Yurimoto, CEO of Global Brain, a Japanese venture firm that led the funding.
Superflex has hired a team of leaders in textiles, industrial design, robotics, biomechanics, and data science to develop the lightweight, connected apparel that features electric “muscles” that add intelligent wearable strength and natural mobility to muscles and joints. Superflex technology was developed at SRI International for a Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency-funded program to reduce injury risk and enhance soldier endurance while carrying heavy loads.
Superflex will use the new funds to bring the clothing to market—initially, the senior space because of its size and need, the statement said.
In the coming months, Superflex will unveil its initial product concept: a powered suit designed for those experiencing mobility difficulties later in life, or challenging work environments, to provide core wellness support for the wearer’s torso, hips and legs. Reacting to the body’s natural movements, the suit will provide power lift to naturally complement the wearer’s strength during the act of standing up, sitting down or staying upright.
In addition to its investment, Global Brain will work with Superflex to set up a Japan office and leverage its network to assist the company in entering the domestic market.
“Our origins are in robotics, our future is as an apparel company,” said Rich Mahoney, co-founder and CEO of Superflex. “We’ll combine comfort and style with power assist for clothes that look good and help people feel good. Our powered clothing will give people the ability to move more freely, to gain strength and confidence, to be more injury-free in the workplace, to achieve higher levels of wellness and social engagement and to stay in the home longer.”
Telehealth monitoring market continues to grow, reports show
VANCOUVER, B.C. – The U.S. telehealth monitoring market has experienced a growth boon in recent years with no signs of stopping, according to a new series of reports by international market research and consulting group iData Research.
The growth in the telehealth monitoring market has been fueled by an awareness of the benefits of remote monitoring and home health care. Market growth is heavily driven by telehealth monitoring for disease management.
Currently, the U.S. boasts the most mature telehealth in the world, as well as a diverse competitive landscape, thanks to a trend toward reimbursement reform and the successes of large-scale deployment initiatives.
“While Medicare still only covers a select subset of telehealth services, most notably face-to-face teleconsultations, state regulated Medicaid and private insurance providers have begun to offer more comprehensive coverage for remote patient monitoring and managed care programs,” said Dr. Kamran Zamanian, CEO of iData, in a statement. “Consistent progress towards payment reform and the expansion of telehealth programs across the U.S. will present favorable circumstances for the adoption of remote monitoring solutions.”
The report also found that the Veteran’s Health Administration’s (VHA) Care Coordination and Home Telehealth program continues to rapidly expand the size of its remote patient monitoring programs and funding. Both public and private organizations will continue to budget more funds for telehealth expenditure as the industry transitions toward outcome-based reimbursement, and looks to achieve greater care coordination and improved patient outcomes.
The report said the leading competitor in the telehealth market is Medtronic, due to its large share in the disease conditions management segment. Medtronic also has a strong presence in the telehealth market for cardiac implantable electronic devices (CIEDs), and its ongoing partnership with the VHA programs has strengthened its position as market leader within the total telehealth market.
New Jersey to use new technology to keep home health patients safe
TRENTON – The state’s Safe Care Cam program will make micro-surveillance cameras available for loan to anyone who suspects their loved one is being abused or neglected by home health aides or other in-home caregivers. “Cameras don’t lie, and the abuses they’ve revealed are shocking,” said New Jersey Attorney General Christopher Porrino in a statement. “A quality micro-surveillance camera is expensive and many people simply can’t afford them. That’s why we’re offering the use of these cameras free of charge to those who wish to confirm that their loved ones are safe and well-cared-for in their absence.” Once the cameras are in place, it will be up to participants to review the recorded footage, which can be played on a television or computer with adapters provided by the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs. “Our Safe Care Cam program will empower consumers to become their loved-ones’ front-line protectors against abuse and neglect,” said Steve Lee, director of the DCA.
MMJ Labs launches wearable pain therapy device
ATLANTA – MMJ Labs has launched VibraCool, a wearable pain therapy device for those with IT Band pain, carpal tunnel, tennis elbow and other painful overuse conditions and injuries. “Drug-free solutions for carpal tunnel or knee pain are critical right now, but other products are too complicated or lack data,” said Dr. Amy Baxter, CEO of MMJ Labs, in a statement. “We adapted our clinically proven technology for needle pain into a solution optimized for joint and muscle pain.” With the push of a button, users receive high frequency massage and ice in a product optimized for athletes and those with chronic joint pain. Users can opt to use one or both features, and the product features a neoprene compression strap, as well.