These startups want to improve the everyday lives of the elderly

These startups want to improve the everyday lives of the elderly

Overview. Apps against loneliness or Alzheimer’s diagnosis, portals for the mediation of nurses. Digital companies have also discovered senior citizens as customers.

Society is aging and the purchasing power of senior citizens is rising. In the meantime, every third euro is spent by people over 60. No wonder many startups focus on this consumer group and offer digital help to the elderly.

The idea for the founding of Myo had Felix Kuna and Jasper Böckel during the internship in a Berlin nursing home. They had returned with a group of seniors from a trip to the Berggruen Museum, when the daughter of a resident came to it and asked the mother with dementia, what they had done. “There was nothing and food,” was the answer. The two of them realized that there is a communication deficit in nursing.

Myo is a whatsapp for carers

The founders want to fix this deficit with their platform Myo. It offers the relatives of people in need of care and the staff in the home the opportunity to get in touch: to exchange short messages and to share pictures. “Carers can tell relatives about the residents’ everyday lives – about trips, events or other events with photos, text messages or even videos,” says Jasper Böckel. “Because often forget the seniors, their children or grandchildren to report positive events from their everyday lives,” adds Felix Kuna.

“Conversely, relatives have the opportunity to comment on the work of the caregivers and express their appreciation. Such feedback motivates the caregivers. “The founders also see the app as an opportunity to enhance the image of the care industry by documenting and making transparent their work in the homes.

The app Myo works similar, as you know it from Whatsapp or Instagram. However, stricter rules apply to business communications than to the private sector. “Myo has been certified with ePrivacy’s privacy seal,” says Jasper Böckel. “In addition, we are working on certification to ISO 27001.” This is an international standard for data security.

Hospital operator invests in news app

Kuna and Böckel founded the startup in 2017 and built up Plug & Play in the former accelerator of Axel Springer. Their business model is the licensing of software for home operators. There are fees of between five and ten euros per patient. The founders plan for the future to open the app for other parties in healthcare (therapists, laundry, hairdressers) and other areas (rehab, hospices, facilities for the disabled).

One of the early supporters of the startup is the ecclesiastical home operator Agaplesion. He also participated in the start-up’s pre-seed and seed funding totaling 1.5 million euros with Think.Health Ventures as lead. The name of the app Myo is derived from the term Myosotis. This is the scientific name for the plant forget-me-not.

You should also know these digital offers for the elderly:

memory training

Training for the brain comes from Neuronation . The startup offers 60 exercise modules to its 12 million users. With them you can train short-term memory, memorizing numbers and mental arithmetic. Similar to Neuronation, Memorandoalso offers memory training.

Alzheimer’s diagnosis

Neotiv , a spin-off of Otto von Guericke University Magdeburg in close cooperation with the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE), has developed a digital assistant for memory and dementia care . The app measures the specific memory functions with the smartphone and can thus diagnose dementia and Alzheimer’s at an early stage. Neotiv is nominated for the Digital Health Award 2019 of the pharmaceutical companies Novartis and Sandoz.

Health care

The platform Careship by Antonia and Nikolaus Albert received six million euros in venture capital in April 2018. Careship informs senior citizens and their relatives about nursing claims and brings them together with personal carers and caregivers. Per booked hour, the company gets a commission of 20 percent.

Many other startups also provide care services – for example  caregivers . The company from the portfolio of Rocket Internet offers an outpatient nursing service with permanent staff.

Pflegix from Bochum teaches everyday helpers , family helpers, domestic helpers , senior caretakers , as well as nursing assistants and registered nurses. They take on orders in self-employment. Similarly, Curafides or , which completed a financing of four million euros last year.

further education

The online portal Curendo offers courses for caregivers. They should help with the organization of the daily routine and provide information about benefits. The company cooperates with numerous health insurance companies.


Special tablets and smartphones for seniors offer several companies, such as Exelonics with the App Asina or the startup Nepos . The controls are larger, the housing more secure than conventional devices.

Living Will

Dipat , a fee-based provisioning tool (48 euros / year), cooperates with the Hasso Plattner Institute (HPI) and its Health Cloud. Users can merge medical data there and share it with others if desired. In a living will, users can document their treatment intention in the event that they themselves can no longer make a decision. In 2017, the company completed a round of financing totaling three million euros.


The company Lindera has developed a mobility test, can determine the individual’s risk of falling of their patient or resident with the nurses. The test analyzes – according to the company using artificial intelligence – the 3D image of the movement with the smartphone camera.

Even Apple is increasingly becoming a medical concern: The Apple Watch Series 4has a fall sensor. If you fall down, you can trigger an emergency call by pressing the display. If the Apple Watch detects that its users have not moved for about a minute, it automatically makes the call and sounds an audible alarm.


The Startup Veyo is a kind of Uber for patient transport and offers a car service for people in need in seven states of the United States. It drives there daily 30,000 tours, the website, according to cheaper than conventional patient transport.

Picture: myosotis / agaplesion; Note: Axel Springer is a shareholder of Vertical Media GmbH, the media company of Gründerszene. Further information on Vertical Media GmbH can be found here: .
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