Philly Startup Raises $2.6M For ‘Smart Belt' That Helps Seniors When They Fall

A Philadelphia company developing a “Smart Belt” to help prevent hip fractures in senior adults who accidently fall has raised just under $2.6 million in a private stock sale, according to documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Active Protective was co-founded by Dr. Robert Buckman, the inventor of the technology the company is seeking to commercialize, and Drew Lakatos, the company’s CEO. Buckman, a former trauma surgeon at St. Mary Medical Center in Langhorne, Pa., serves as the company’s chief technology officer.

The company’s smart belt wearable technology uses 3D motion sensors to first determine people’s stereotypical motions and accelerations that govern their normal, daily activities in order to determine “departures” from what is allowable. The technology, using a technique called “fall disambiguation,” can determine falls prior to impact — which triggers the deployment of the micro-airbag protection. The company says its garment can reduce impact force by 90 percent.

“It works differently than a car airbag, which uses pyrotechnics to deploy,” said Lakatos, in an interview earlier this year. “The smart belt uses a cold-gas inflator which comes out less violently and stays inflated longer.”

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