After Raising $32 Million, Startup to Bring Virtual Caregiver ‘Addison’ to Market

SameDay Security recently secured $32 million in a Series D fundraising round, which will help in the development and rollout of “Addison” — a virtual caregiver that could be deployed in senior living to extend length of stay.

Las Cruces, New Mexico-based SameDay Security has raised a total of $36 million overall, and already makes and markets care solutions for thousands of clients in senior living nationwide. Most of these clients reside in independent living properties, ranging from locally owned and operated communities to those managed by national chains such as Holiday Retirement.

“We’ve got in the neighborhood of 5,000 senior living apartments that are protected with our systems, in all 50 states,” CEO Anthony Dohrmann told Senior Housing News.

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SameDay Security’s existing products include a pendant-based health and emergency support system. Addison is part of a more comprehensive system that has been developed in concert with New Mexico State University.

Addison is an animated caregiver who will “live” in 10- to 15-inch monitors strategically placed around users’ home environments. Some of her features include conversational speech, the ability to make observations based on movement and helping people follow prescription treatment plans.

Through depth-of-field visual sensors connected to an artificial intelligence-based processor, Addison can detect walking speed and pick up on other cues that would signal a user is at risk of falling or another health-related incident.

“Certain conditions the system may see would trigger a wellness check,” Dohrmann said. “[Addison] doesn’t just tell you which meds to take, she shows you and verifies the consumption.”

There is also a gamification element, as users who meet goals — such as monthly weight loss or blood pressure targets — would win a prize like a gift card or candles.

Addison is slated to go to market in 2019, for around $250 a month. At this price point, Dohrmann believes that Addison will be a more affordable alternative to home care in some cases, and could help senior living residents age in place for longer periods of time.

“You’ll see tons of IL residents getting home care visits … [they end up saying] we can’t afford the apartment when we’re also paying $2,000 a month on a home care basis,” Dohrmann said.

Some senior living providers have opted to foot the bill for SameDay Security products and make them available to residents at no additional charge. They reason that doing so is worthwhile, to achieve less frequent turnover. However, Dohrmann prefers a model in which a senior living provider endorses his company’s product but a resident pays for it directly. Utilization tends to be lower when the product is offered for free, he said.

Non-human caregivers of various shapes and sizes have slowly been making inroads in senior living, and Addison may be making her entrance at a good time. Smart home technology has started to become common, and senior living residents are increasingly accustomed to interacting with voice-enabled systems such as Amazon’s Alexa.

Addison has certainly found believers in the investor community, with backers including current and former high-level executives with companies such as Honda, Oracle, Merrill Lynch and Hospital Corporation of America. SameDay Security is working on a Series E that is larger than the Series D, Dohrmann said.

Some of this capital will go toward further development of Addison, but the majority is earmarked to support increasing sales and deployment of the company’s products.

“You’ll keep seeing our brand,” Dohrmann said.

Interested in learning more about how smart home technology is transforming senior living? Click here to access Senior Housing News’ deep-dive report on the topic.

Written by Tim Mullaney

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