Up until recently, when I thought of Switzerland, I would think of great cheese, delicious chocolate, and beautiful mountain ranges. And although it does have all of these things, as it turns out, the famously neutral nation also has a fast-growing Age-Tech scene.
Switzerland was recently ranked as the most innovative country in the world by the UN, and considering the fact that it also has one of the highest life expectancies on earth, it was only a matter of time before a Swiss Age-Tech scene would develop, and give rise to innovators and entrepreneurs eager to tackle the challenges of aging. I was fortunate enough to meet with some of them during my visit to Zurich last month — so read on to learn more about what the Age-Tech scene in Switzerland has to offer.
If you look into home care systems for the Swiss elderly, you are likely to run into “Spitex”. Spitex is a nationwide organization for support, health care and nursing outside hospitals and nursing homes.
Since Switzerland has a good home-care system, there is a need to coordinate between professional and family caregivers. Several Swiss startups have succeeded in securing spots in this part of the Age-Tech scene.
Pro Aidants is a non-profit advocacy organisation for carers, that is currently looking for public agencies and non-profit providers in long-term care to re-invent a carer-friendly society with the pilot project We+Care. is a startup that developed a care-coordination app, designed to support caregivers in setting up and running a care network.
I spoke with Patrick Hofer, We+Care’s co-founder and a founding member of Pro Aidants, and learned about how and why he came up with this innovative model.
CleverCare developed a digital spitex helper, enabling better coordination and communication between care staff and care recipients. They are expected to launch the product in early 2020. I spoke with Andres Rapp, the CEO and co-founder of the company, and learned about his organization and the Swiss home-care system at large.
In The Home
CARU developed a beautiful, smart, and sensor-packed assistant for older adults. This company was founded by two physicists, Susanne Dröscher and Thomas Helbling, and received €2.4 in seed funding. The device itself can be used in care homes or by older adults living at home. It is voice activated, and users can ask it to contact care staff or family members. The sensors are for wellness monitoring. I spoke with Susanne, their co-CEO and co-founder, and got to see a live demo.
DomoSafety is a leading provider of behavior-based and medical data analytics in real-time. It aggregates patient data from multiple sources and is able to deliver preventive and proactive services to healthcare professionals.
In Case of Emergency
SmartLifeCare and are Personal Emergency Response Systems that connect their users to an emergency call center/family member at the push of a button. Curena even has a handy wristband with GPS for wearing outdoors.
The Swiss are famous for a lot of things, not the least of which are their luxury timepieces. So of course, it was only a matter of time before someone would integrate this proud tradition with age-tech. SmartWatcher make elegant emergency call watches that can always be called and geolocated, even inside buildings. In case of an emergency, appropriate help can be arranged with the press of a button.
Future of Work
More and more people want to have a second or even third career, but don’t necessarily know where to start. Neustarter’s mission is to inspire, encourage, connect, and take people a step further — for small and big career reboots!
They developed MindMotion, a neurorehabilitation solution which utilizes virtual environment-based technology. The MindMotion PRO and MindMotion GO both have FDA clearance. The MindMotion PRO is fully mobile and built for hospital use as early as 4 days after a neurological injury. TheMindMotion GO is a gamified neurorehabilitation system developed by neuroscientists for specialists, built from the ground up to meet user needs with a deep understanding of the neuro-therapeutic context.
is a medication management app that was founded by Sven Beichler , who decided to create it after he found himself hospitalized following an allergic reaction to a drug. It allows users to be reminded when they need to take their medications, refill prescriptions, check for side effects and allergies and even chat with a pharmacist.
It seems that while Switzerland has gained a reputation for its centuries old traditions and eons-old scenery, the country is bravely facing the future, and its many innovators are not shying away from new technologies and new markets — not the least of which is its vast and affluent aging population.
The creation of this blogpost couldn’t have been possible without the help of my friend Patrick Hofer, who invited me over to the Zurich Aging2.0 chapter event to meet some of these Awesome entrepreneurs.