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NIA Small Business Showcase: CareBand, Inc.

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There are very few digital health solutions for neuropsychiatric symptoms (NPS) of dementia, which include agitation, apathy, wandering, and many other behaviors and are challenging to care for and interpret. These symptoms contribute to increased health care costs, greater caregiver distress, and decreased quality of life. The challenge of managing NPS is in obtaining real-time objective data on symptom patterns and being notified of early changes in condition.

Careband LogoCareBand is dedicated to improving the quality of life and standard of care of people living with dementia. The CareBand solution is a wearable device that monitors activity and location. With the integration of machine learning technology, caregivers can proactively manage NPS, such as agitation, apathy, and wandering, through nonpharmacological interventions. CareBand’s LEAP Platform enables indoor and outdoor location tracking, customized alerts, and event monitoring. Individualized pattern recognition, called insight AI (artificial intelligence), is in development to power the system to understand bathroom use, fall risk, and other early changes in condition. With CareBand, people living with dementia can stay safe, function at their highest level of independence, and avoid unnecessary hospitalizations, and caregivers can have peace of mind.

There is a need across the continuum of care for CareBand. We will start in the $535 million senior living market of approximately 45,000 senior living communities and about 2 million people. Once our solution is proven and we have completed significant research studies, we will move to the $1.8 billion at-home market.

The main competitive advantage of the CareBand solution in the senior living market is the ability to extend wander management systems to outdoor location tracking. Today, almost all wander management systems stop at the door and provide little insight on where a resident goes after leaving the facility. Once the CareBand solution is installed and initial value is created through wander management, the solution can extend into behavior tracking and deliver actionable data analytics for staff, administrators, and family members. Beyond the underlying technology, each CareBand solution offers unique value.

Solution Current Solution CareBand Value
Wander Management Radio-frequency identification wristbands that do not provide location tracking once outdoors Low-power wide-area network (LPWAN) wristbands that provide location tracking both indoors and outdoors
NPS Detection (Agitation, Apathy, etc. Manual subjective observations or surveys Automated objective passive data collection

Company Milestones

Scientific

  • June 2019: Worked as the technology partner on an awarded AGE-WELL grant to detect space/time indices (sleep, gait, activity, falls) for people with dementia
  • January 2020: Completed a six-month study with 10 older adults with Indiana University’s Center for Rural Engagement showing the feasibility of our technology work in rural communities. This research has laid the groundwork for the University of Minnesota collaboration.
  • March 2020: Working as the technology partner with the University of Minnesota’s Memory Keepers Medical Discovery Team on a grant to create the first Center for Community Engaged Rural Dementia and Alzheimer’s Research

Business

  • May 2017: Completed a pilot with a Chicago-based assisted living community where the product tracked a wandering patient
  • July 2018: Completed a feasibility and pilot study with Omron Electronics to demonstrate real-time location tracking technology
  • August 2018: Completed two paid pilot studies with Chicago-based nursing homes, which transitioned to customers. The chain invested in the company.
  • September 2019: Awarded an NIH SBIR Phase I Grant to explore whether CareBand can detect agitation in people with dementia

Financial Overview

CareBand has raised $1.1 million raised from angel investors, family, and friends. Currently, the company is raising a seed round of $1 million. In about two years, there will be a Series A round to allow for market penetration in the at-home space.

Intellectual Property

A U.S. utility patent was granted in January 2019 for the use of a hybrid (BLE + GPS) location tracking system for people living with dementia. In March 2020, CareBand was granted a U.S. design patent and a U.S. utility patent for a two-handed watch strap lock. Today there is an international patent application published and a European Union patent pending. Additionally, a CareBand trademark was allowed in April 2020.

Product Development and Regulatory Strategy

CareBand will not initially be a registered U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) device. It has been intentionally developed through expert FDA counsel as a wellness device providing actionable insights to both residents and staff. With future evidence-based research studies and a proven market opportunity, CareBand may seek FDA clearance to qualify for reimbursement through insurance providers and plans such as Medicare Advantage.

Commercialization Strategy

Dementia care is a large and growing market. CareBand will initially target senior living facilities, specifically assisted living and memory care and skilled nursing homes. The solution will be sold through channel partners who will support sales, installation, and maintenance. Once proven in the senior living market, CareBand will move toward the massive home care market of more than 5 million older adults. CareBand will work with large multibillion-dollar corporations that have extensive sales channels and already serve the senior market with solutions such as security systems, internet solutions, or Internet of Things products.

Company Details

CareBand, Inc. website

222 West Merchandise Mart Plaza, #1230
Chicago, IL 60654-1102

Industry: Digital Health

Management Team:

  • Founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO): Adam Sobol, M.S.I.S.
  • Chief Marketing Officer: Zack Ottenstein
  • Chief Medical Officer: Todd Sobol, M.D.

Point of Contact:

Adam Sobol, M.S.I.S.
Email Adam Sobol
(937) 751-7199

Conference Selected for Showcase: What’s Next Longevity Summit (June 2020)