UnaliWear, an Austin, Texas-based maker of a Personal Emergency Response System (PERS) watch for independent but vulnerable populations, closed a $3.4m seed funding.
The round was led by Maxim Ventures, the venture arm of Maxim Integrated Products, which made a $1M investment.
The company intends to use the funds for beta test preparation of UnaliWear’s Kanega watch, which is the wearable part of a Personal Emergency Response System (PERS) that delivers independence with dignity for independent but vulnerable populations.
Led by Jean Anne Booth, CEO, UnaliWear provides the Kanega watch, which provides discreet support for falls, medication reminders, and a guard against wandering, and features a use speech interface rather than buttons. Unlike traditional medical alert products, the Kanega watch works where peopla are, 24×7 – and doesn’t require a smart phone. It combines cellular, Wi-Fi, GPS, BLE (for hearing aids and telemedicine devices), an accelerometer for automatic fall detection, and continuous speech.
Originally developed for seniors, the company’s successful Kickstarter campaign in early 2015 broadened the company’s outlook. Today, that includes people with disabilities and people with chronic diseases such as Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis and Lou Gehrig’s disease.
The watch should be available in the U.S. in the second half of 2016.