15 Sep 2015

Startup profile: eFridgeMagnet

By Jessica

In the run up to BGV Demo Day on tomorrow we’ve been profiling the 10 startups on our summer accelerator programme. In today’s instalment Michael Castle, Luke Robinson, Imtiaz Shams and Rhiannon Blow tell us about eFridgeMagnet. 

What’s the big problem you are trying to solve?
We face an ageing population with more and more older people living independently at home, over 1 million in the UK alone. By tracking the everyday behaviour of opening and closing the use of the fridge, eFridgeMagnet provides an affordable and simple solution to help families monitor their loved one’s activity and health.

What’s your experience with this problem?
eFridgeMagnet’s founder’s uncle lived alone and like many other older people often forgot to wear his alarm pendant. He suffered a fall and it took 12 hours for a carer to visit, during which time he was dehydrated and had to be taken to hospital. In 2010 we were funded by the NHS to study this problem and build a solution. The results of this research led to further funding from Nominet Trust and then Bethnal Green Ventures, and the eFridgeMagnet was born.

What’s your solution?
eFridgeMagnet is a connected device that lets friends and family know about their older relatives by unobtrusively monitoring how they are using their fridge. Relatives receive a reassuring text message in the morning when their parents have had breakfast, as well as throughout the day. It can be configured to send additional texts at other mealtimes, which it does by comparing previous meal routines to the current day.

It is significantly more affordable than what is currently on the market and it is simple: it does not require the older person to press buttons or wear anything.

How will this impact the lives of millions?
By helping friends and family care for older people better, the eFridgeMagnet allows them to avoid hospital trips and move into a care home when it may not be necessary. Their family can spend more quality time with them rather than worrying about their health on a day to day basis. We believe this will lead to significant reductions to the costs of the current care crisis in the NHS.

How can people get involved?
We are running trials of the technology now, and are looking for people who have the problem of worrying about their parents or grandparents to take part in our beta test. This will inform how we develop our product, and we will offer beta testers heavily subsidised products when the final version is out.

website: www.efridgemagnet.com
email: team@efridgemagnet.com