Longevity, as far as startups are concerned, tends to be a moonshot-y space where technologies like biotech and AI are experimentally be used in a sort of modern day alchemical quest — and the great hope is to( somehow)’ hack’ biology and greatly extend the human lifespan. Or even purpose fatality wholly.
Coming much closer to Earth is Spanish startup Hearts Radiant, which says it’s in the “longevity tech” business but is taking a far more ground and practical coming to addressing ageing. In short it believes it’s hammered a formula for helping people live to a ripe old age.
And — here’s the key — to do so healthily.
So its moonshot isn’t to help people get to a biblical 150 or even 120. It’s about supporting elders to live well, up to a’ good innings’ like 95, while( hopefully) retaining their independence and vitality through the application of technology that creates a organized and engaging life number which works to combat age-related preconditions such as frailty and social isolation.
Gently times it
The startup is coming out of stealth today to disclose a firstly tranche of pre-seed funding and chat to TechCrunch about its dream of supporting elderlies to live a more active, fulfilling and independent life.
The EUR4 50 k pre-seed round, which is led by JME.vc with participation from Kfund, Seedcamp and NextVentures, will be used for research and continued development of its Rosita Longevity digital coach. The app has been in beta testing in a limited form since January — currently only for Android inventions, generated majors tend to have their relatives’ hand-me-down smartphone hardware( but iOS is on the roadmap) — present livestreamed and on-demand video classifies like cardio flamenco and age-appropriate yoga for its target 60+ year-olds.
Rosita’s co-founders are husband and wife team, Juan Cartagena( CEO) and Clara Fernandez( CCO ), along with CTO David Gil. Their premise is that what humen genuinely need, as they age, is guidance and motivation to stay as active as they can, for as long as they can — and that a digital pulpit is the best way to form personalized,’ healthy dres’ forming therapy for elders widely accessible.
” We believe that we have to be a dres instrument ,” says Cartagena, give” health longevity” as another descriptor for the scope of what they’re aiming to achieve.
Fernandez is attracting immediately on her years of experience as CEO of Balneario de Cofrentes, a family business in Valencia, which she describes as a” longevity school” or tent for majors — and which the website advocates is a combination of spa/ inn, physical care/ rehabilitation and education core. There she’s been responsible for overseeing task and education programs adapted to elderlies, offering leader exert and advice on things like malady avoidance and good nutrition.
” Over the last ten years we have developed a very comprehensive strategy on how to educate, how to create attires in the senior parish so that they can increase their healthy lifespan ,” she excuses.” We have a specific methodology. We start with teaching elderlies how to manage their current state statu and we progressively start educating them with life, prevention of the primary infections, and also education about the most recent findings in the field of discipline .”
” I realized that the prime style to expand this was taking it online ,” she lends on the decision to package the program into a digital coaching app –” where a bigger percentage of the elderly population could benefit “.
Lifestyle is a key part of the proposition. But they’re most comfortable with the stamp of’ longevity tech’.
” We are trying not to play in fitness for many rationales ,” lends Cartagena.” It’s limited in scope. And we are trying to go beyond that — it’s just the starting point[ with a view to reducing debility] and those related to that, including the final’ cancer’ which would be dependence .”
Since the proposition underlying the Rosita app hinges on the attest health benefits of regular, moderate exercising as a means of combating a range of age-related states — such as muscle mass loss and increased bone density leading to frailty( which in turn can lead to a fall, a break-dance hip, and a major who’s unexpectedly is contingent upon personal attend) — or, beyond that, as a general bolster for mental and brain health — they are squatting on established( rather than moonshotty) science.
Although they do still need to demonstrate that digitally given, personalized programs of lifestyle coaching — boasting familiar but still sometimes clunky engineerings like AI and chatbots — can actually help reverse infirmity( in the first instance) for seniors participating remotely, with no human physiotherapists on hand to help.
Hence some of the funding will go on researching how their bricks-and-mortar’ longevity academy’ platform is in accordance with a digital stage. And, more specifically, whether personalised digital coaching for 60+ year olds will relent tangible reductions in frailty( and thus gains in active times) in the same way that in-person group exercisings have already been shown to.( One sphere that certainly deserves close study is whether social human contact derived from a strictly digital knowledge vs in-person group regiman makes a difference to treatment outcomes .)
It’s true that no smartphone in the world can change a bog-standard bathroom into a full on indulgence spa. But other a number of aspects of the Balneario’s program simply need digitizing and structuring to serve up same welfares, is the thinking.
The styles of digital task curricula they’re bequeathing for the app are designed to be fun for elderlies as well as advantageous and appropriate for a particular frailty level. Examples of class currently offered include abbreviated mobility dance, burpee-free’ cross fit ‘, and osteoarthritis-safe karate.
The onboarding process involves an assessment to determine a senior’s frailty level in order that users are offered content at an activity level that’s appropriate for their physical condition.
Long is the road
Cartagena records they’re working with Dr. Jose Vina, a prof at the University of Valencia, who is renowned in the longevity field.” He has proven he can revert frailty in the earliest stages by applying a certain methodology to specific muscles with a therapy of exercise-fusion — with some life wonts. Now what has not been proven is whether that is applicable to a remote environment where people do it on their own ,” he adds.” And this what we are doing right now. This pre-seed round is basically to take that ambiguity, made that in front of a few thousand[ app] useds, make that investigate … and see if in the next 12 months we improve[ their infirmity height ].”
The actual Balneario is closed at the moment, in this health-stricken year of the fiction coronavirus, but the intention is to reopen in March 2021 — and then introduce the annual intake to Rosita — garnering ongoing feedback on whether or not it’s steering them toward health-supporting habits.
” It’s all about understanding the customer so well and that’s where the competitive edge of this fellowship truly comes from ,” bickers Cartagena.” By having 15,000 majors per year coming to the school, every year we understand the customer very well, their practices, what they do, what they don’t. They come every year so we can ask them what did you do last year?
” That will be for us the way to have a massive focus group — let’s say a slide space of focus radical that we can see for ten days exercising the product — and we can iterate much faster by realise not parties really through our analytics but people who are using the commodity in front of us. One hundred or 500 beings a date in our recourse. And I think that will be a fundamental acces in which we are capable of construct something that people actually need and use and care about .”
The current edition of the app doesn’t yet include AI-powered personalized coaching. But that’s again where the pre-seed funding comes in.” The initial tutor for education and fragility itineraries should be ready in three weeks( along with our iOS app ),” says Cartagena.” This solves a pressing trouble our consumers have today.
” The personalized coach( pathologies, followups, context, atomization of exercisings, etc) “ve got a lot” of logic behind and testing this properly will make more occasion. We will release that ability gradually and we should feel’ proud’ by Christmas. That will become our Habits Engine. Together with our geroscience research contrive, those are the uncertainties to get right with our current funding .”
Targeting chronic agony is another key aim for the app, although he admits there may be some types of pain they won’t be able to address. The co-founders add that the app is intended to supplement not oust traditional healthcare — pointing out it’s being designed to be more forward-looking; aka that prevention of age-related problems is exactly the strategy to live better for longer.
” Telehealth is more about managing an illness — we’re more about frustrating ,” lends Fernandez.” We’re more about detecting what are the indicators and the tools to made to ensure that the senior person … understand what it happening to their body, what is going to happen over the next ten years and start to slowly develop those habits so that they can minimize, abbreviate the evolution, the natural ageing process .”
Cartagena records they are also working with researchers on developing sensor hardware that could go alongside the app to enhance their ability to predict frailty — suggesting it will allow them to define a wider/ more nuanced reach of user lists( the first edition of the app has three categories but he says they want to be able to offer nine ).
Smartphone and sensor hardware combined with AI technology has, for some years now, been enabling a new generation of leader physical rehabilitation apps that seek to offer an alternative to pharmaceutical-based management for chronic sting — such as Kaia Health and Hinge Health, to call two. And of course mindfulness/ guided mediation has become a huge app business. While the broader concept of’ digital health’ has, over the past half decade or so, looked CBT-style therapy programs packed up to be put on tap in people’s pockets. So there’s nothing inherently strange or exotic about the idea of a longevity coach for seniors.
Albeit, get the user experience freedom could well be the biggest challenge. Cartagena says the app’s tone is important — talking in terms of not wanting to be ” haughty” or move elders feel like Rosita is giving them “homework” — so they actually click with the virtual tutor and stand engaged.
Fernandez extremely emphasizes the goal is to sustain good habits. Ergo, this is a( soothing) marathon not a sprint.
If they can design a safe and involving experience that majors don’t find off-putting, tedious or muddling its full potential to expand access to therapies, activities and information that can improve people’s quality of life lookings huge. Frailty is also only the team’s first focus. As they develop the product and proliferate usage they want to be able to support their customers to assemble health dress that could help stave off neurodegenerative situations like dementia, for example. Combating loneliness and social isolation is another goal. So there’s a whole range of health plans they’re hoping Rosita will be able to deliver.
” What we’re doing right now is focused especially on infirmity — we’re developing the personalized AI coach on top of that — and what we’re going to do is start adding the layers of all the different health plans that we’re going to be establishing off the longevity manager ,” says Fernandez.” Nutrition, cognitive stimulant, loosening and breathing, and on top of that we will settled all the prevention strategies — and all the grades that we’re preparing for longevity.
” One of the things that we have tested in the clinic that is very important is to educate the user. Not really on what they need to do today — but on what is happening to their ageing process, what is happening to their metabolism, what is happening to their musculoskeletal system. How and why your body is ageing is fundamental so you can make small decisions. By empowering users through education they can understand and relate to why this specific thing that you’re telling them today is useful in the long run .”
” One of the most successful programmes that we have improved is creating this whole course on longevity which is what is happening to your figure — what science knows today about the field of longevity ,” she includes.” And how you can minimize those evidences. And those things we’re moving completely into the[ app ].”
Cartagena likewise points to the risk of a COVID-1 9′ 4th curve’ of deaths that could result from elderlies becoming more frail than they otherwise would after being forced into a more sedentary actuality as a result of lockdown measures and concerns about their risk of exposure to the coronavirus.
Or, in other words, sitting at home on the sofa is able to elderlies stand free of virus but if rapid dullnes threats their sparkle that more could cut short a healthful lifespan. So implements to help older people stay active are looking more important than ever. And to that end he says the app shall be maintained free in all regions of the pandemic — foreseeing that could be used to unfold into 2022.
The plan for the business model is b2c, likely focused on selling premium content — such as connecting users directly with a healer to chat through their progress. In the meantime they’re relying on VC to get their digital” incitement machine” to market.
Right now they have 5,000 “pre-registrations” for the app and 1,000 elders actively testing the product( all age-old 60 to 80, in Spain ). They’ve also merely pushed out an update, moving the software out of the’ early access’ time — as they progress toward launching their” personalized AI coach for longevity .”
And while Rosita’s coaching is currently only available in Spanish — with the team having recorded “hundreds” of videos so far for different levels and chronic pathologies — the aim is to scale up in Europe( and perhaps beyond ), starting with the U.K. market. Which meets English the next natural language for them to build out content.
Read more: feedproxy.google.com