Omega Healthcare Investors (NYSE: OHI) has led a $30 million Series B funding round for fall management technology company SafelyYou.
Omega also prepaid $10 million so that the real estate investment trust’s senior living and skilled nursing facilities can access the SafelyYou tech, which involves artificial intelligence to detect falls and video to review fall events.
In announcing the Series B round on Thursday, SafelyYou also released a case study showing that Belmont Village Senior Living was able to reduce fall-related emergency room (ER) visits to 4%, compared to an industry average of between 17% and 25%. Houston-based Belmont Village operates more than 30 senior living communities across the United States.
SCAN Group, the parent organization of SCAN Health Plan, also participated in the latest funding round for SafelyYou. SCAN Health Plan is one of the nation’s largest non-profit Medicare Advantage plans and recently launched a new product called Embrace, focused on the needs of senior living residents and operators.
Existing investors in SafelyYou include Eclipse Ventures, Foundation Capital, Founders Fund and DCVC. Funding for the company now totals about $70 million.
Getting to this stage has been a gradual process, SafelyYou Founder and CEO George Netscher said earlier this year, when Senior Housing News recognized him as a Future Leader.
“Don’t oversell, don’t try to put the cart before the horse,” he said. “The way we went was we did a study with one community [before launching]. We wanted to make sure that was reproducible. We did a larger study that had 11 communities in it … Our first customers were so supportive and so critical for how we got here.”
Now, SafelyYou is being deployed at scale: Omega’s portfolio alone numbers 944 facilities. The REIT’s $10 million pre-payment will go toward subsidizing the cost of implementing SafelyYou in these communities, on a first-come, first-served basis. Ciena, Consulate, Maplewood Senior Living and Brookdale Senior Living (NYSE: BKD) are among Omega’s 63 operator partners.
Omega’s investment in SafelyYou is part of a larger effort that Omega is undertaking related to technology. In March 2021, Omega acquired Connected Living, which offers resident engagement platforms, in-room TV systems and other services. Facilitating operator access to Connected Living was one motivation behind this transaction.
“One of the biggest challenges for operators throughout this [Covid-19] crisis is how they could safely facilitate the connection between residents and their loved ones,” Omega SVP of Corporate Strategy and Investor Relations Matthew Gourmand said at the time. “We saw in Connected Living an opportunity to help operators address this challenge, enhance the resident experience, and differentiate the offering of their facilities.”
Belmont Village cuts ER visits
In SafelyYou, Omega is investing in a company that has already proven beneficial to operators such as Belmont Village.
In 2019, Belmont Village installed SafelyYou in two communities, and in the subsequent three-month pilot, those communities reduced fall-related ER visits by 41%, according to the case study released Thursday.
Belmont Village then implemented SafelyYou across all its memory care units, spanning 25 communities. The provider has maintained a 4% rate of ER visits due to falls throughout this expansion.
In one example of how the tech is working, Belmont Village staff members were able to view camera footage to see that a particular resident was in the habit of gently lowering herself to the ground each morning. Armed with this knowledge, Belmont Village could avoid emergency room transfers of this resident while adjusting care to meet the resident’s needs.
“We learned that by better seeing how we were responding to someone who has fallen, we could revamp and improve our training on a continuous basis,” Patricia Will, Founder and CEO of Belmont Village, said in Thursday’s press release. “If you can mitigate fall risk, that’s a huge win. After we looked at the results, we said, ‘This is a technology that we’re willing to implement across the company.’”
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