Interview with Sedimentum
Could you shortly tell us what Sedimentum does?
Sedimentum is a healthcare and technology start-up that has developed a technological protection tool that ensures the physical safety of, for example, people in nursing homes, when they are on their own. This solution aims to support and relieve the burden of nursing staff in psychiatric clinics and in nursing homes for the elderly, as well as for relatives of the elderly. The caregivers are informed in real time about any unusual occurrences (e.g. falls), enabling them to take the necessary measures to protect the people living alone in a timely manner.
We develop the first contactless solution for fall and emergency detection in healthcare without compromising privacy.
What is Sedimentum’s background story?
Before co-founding Sedimentum, Sandro Cilurzo, CEO, worked in a Swiss psychiatric clinic as an information security officer. He was also a member of a think tank for management members and experts from medical and nursing fields. There he was responsible for contributing technological expertise. The representatives from the medical and nursing sector discussed problems and challenges in their day to day work and he proposed new technological solutions to these “real-world” problems. It was precisely after a meeting with the think tank that he had a sudden insight. Sedimentum is the outcome of this eureka moment:
One of the main challenges of any psychiatric institution is to ensure the physical safety of their patients 24/7. There are always periods of time when the patients are on their own, but especially at night they must get along without any caregiver for an exceptionally long time. During the night shift the available nursing staff is very limited – often there is just one single caregiver. Therefore, it is impossible for the nursing staff on duty always to be in the right place at the right time.
Additionally, the privacy and data protection requirements are extremely high in the healthcare sector. Camera-, and microphone-based systems are an absolute no-go. Besides that, already existing solutions such as wearables and watches, don’t work well enough in “real world” conditions. This is why Sedimentum developed the first contactless fall and emergency detection solution in healthcare, which processes fully anonymized data whilst protecting privacy.
Sandro Cilurzo, CEO
Why is it important that Sedimentum exists?
In Switzerland alone, 80,000 elderly people fall in their homes every year. Around 1400 of those affected die as a result of the fall. It is not only the people over 80 who are considered particularly at risk of falling. People with epilepsy, patients in stationary or ambulatory psychiatric clinics, younger seniors or even small children are affected. Many people are in need of protection, but as of yet no smart solutions exist to fulfil that need. Seamless support from third parties is resource-intensive and therefore costly, and in most cases not possible. The physical safety of vulnerable people who live alone cannot be guaranteed 24 hours per day. This problem exists in private homes and retirement homes, nursing and care institutions, psychiatric institutions and other healthcare organizations alike.
Sedimentum technological solution will make the lives of thousands of people safer and more independent in the future – and all of this in a completely automated way.
Who can profit from your services?
Initially, we focus on business customers. Our primary target groups are psychiatric clinics, nursing homes, ambulatory care organizations and institutions for assisted living.
You recently announced and exciting partnership with HOPR (a blockchain based data protection start-up), could you tell us more about this and how it came about?
The HOPR protocol ensures that everyone in a communications network has control over their privacy. HOPR and Sedimentum share the same values and we have been in contact with the HOPR team from the beginning. HOPR has developed a groundbreaking open source technology to be used by privacy-aware developers all over the world. Their protocol is integrated in our cutting-edge privacy-preserving technology to save lives without compromising privacy.
Can you give some further examples of your success stories?
We are a fast-growing startup with 7 full-time employees and are constantly pushing technological boundaries. In January this year (2020), we successfully closed a pre-seed financing round that enabled us to reach our set milestones. One of the most important milestones so far was to launch a proof-of-concept with a leading Swiss psychiatric clinic. Also, other proof-of-concepts with nursing homes and ambulatory care units are starting this fall and winter.
On the first of November 2020 Sandro Cilurzo got listed in the Forbes 30 under 30 list. We are very proud and happy for this recognition!
Also, in November we got the “Zuger JungUnternehmer Preis 2020 “, (the Zuger price for a young company).
What are your biggest challenges?
High regulatory requirements and different technical uncertainties. Our amazing and competent team finds solutions to these technical difficulties. We have massively improved our solution over the last couple of months. All this added value highly improves the customer experience.
The regulatory requirements have been challenging as well. We had to put a lot of effort into solving them. Meanwhile we have developed a mature regulatory strategy that is appropriate to our needs. Our main learning is: question everything (even experts) and above all, remain calm – there is always a solution!
How do you see the future of Sedimentum and what is your long-term goal?
We will officially enter the DACH market next spring. Our vision is to make living safe, especially for vulnerable people. We want to become the leading contactless and privacy preserving fall and emergency detection provider for healthcare worldwide.