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INNOVATION| 25.05.2021

AERIAL and MAPFRE join forces to care for our elderly

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Both companies are working on a non-invasive solution that discreetly accompanies elderly persons as they move about their place of residence.

Research shows that for adults, falling once doubles their chances of falling again. Montreal-based Aerial Technologies and MAPFRE are deploying an AI-driven, ambient technology solution that infers human motion through the distortion of WiFi signals, enabling the in-home movements and routines of older people to be closely monitored without invading their privacy.

The inversion of the global age-gender pyramid shows us that people are living longer – in 2030, older persons are expected to outnumber children under 10 worldwide. Not only are people living longer, they are living better, thanks to improved diet, exercise and preventive medical care. According to the UN’s World Population Ageing report (2017), data compiled from 67 countries confirms that close to 40 percent of older persons choose to live independently, with the number of those co-residing with their children dropping significantly. This lengthened longevity is something to be celebrated, as is the desire of our elderly to maintain their independence and dignity. Aging in place does however bring with it the need to monitor the well-being of older persons, quite often against their wishes. Aerial has developed an invisible care assistant that uses an environment’s existing WiFi structure to track a person’s movement, detecting anomalies via distortions in the WiFi signals. Aerial’s solution means family members can now worry less and care more for their loved ones, while the elderly person can maintain an independent life, safe in the knowledge that help is at hand should they need it.

Keen to level up and exploit the scalability of their unique solution, Aerial has joined insur_space, MAPFRE’s startup collaboration program. Over the coming months Aerial is deploying a commercial pilot program for MAPFRE clients that will monitor their daily movements at home in the least invasive manner possible.

Incorporating Aerial’s first-to-market solution in a domestic environment is simplicity itself. Once activated, the solution uses the home’s WiFi network to detect and relay distortions in the WiFi signal to a proprietary app. The elderly person’s family or caregiver can easily monitor their loved one’s movements as they go about their daily routine, as well as be informed of any changes in behavior. What sets Aerial apart from other elder care solutions is the fact that they do not require wearables or additional sensors, it is completely ambient and non-invasive. This is a critical factor for older people who are aware of their reduced mobility and agility but also keen to keep living alone as they enter their autumn years. With this product, MAPFRE will be positioned to offer greater peace of mind to its clients who care for an elderly loved one.

Speaking about the tie-up, Joan Cusco, MAPFRE’s global transformation manager and leader of the insur_space program, said “We are psyched that a company like Aerial has chosen to join our insur_space acceleration program. Their deep AI-based analytics are powering a genuinely innovative and needed-now ubiquitous sensing solution that delivers tangible benefits in a huge addressable market. Leveraging innovation in the silver economy is a big thing for MAPFRE, it resonates with so much of who we are and what we do, and I’m convinced this collaboration is going to lead to great things for all involved”.

For Aerial, the insur_space program extends the reach of their groundbreaking solution into yet another market vertical. Commenting on the agreement,  Juan Felipe Gonzalez, Aerial’s Chief Sales Officer, said, “Piloting our ambient and intuitive Remote Care solution with MAPFRE’s clients provides the opportunity for us to validate a new channel for this game-changing solution which creates significant value for families who are trying to care for their loved ones. Spain has a large Senior population; more than 2 million Seniors (65+) are living alone, and they are saying no to nursing homes. With the aid of powerful advanced Artificial Intelligence and privacy-compliant Software-as-a-Service (SAAS), Aerial’s Remote Care connects families and establishes peace of mind, but without the baggage of wearable sensors or invasive cameras.”