Taking care of seniors and helping them age in good conditions is in the DNA of Morphée+, a start-up from Dijon founded in 2018 that makes devices for fall detection in real time. This is a non-stigmatising and non-invasive solution without camera or captors and is placed in the form of a pillar in the corner in a room for the residents of old-age homes. It is a true value addition for the silver economy.
Morphée+, the start of an adventure
Morphée + is an adventure that started in 2013 with a meeting between Bruno Duperrier, the then Director General of CERIG and Florin Paun, Marketing Director at ONERA(National Office of Aerospace Studies and Research) during a Demography Chair. Specialists of IT solutions in healthcare sector, Bruno Duperrier discussed the problems of falling in seniors with Florin Paun and concluded that the present fall detection solutions do not serve the needs of the elderly. Therefore, a new solution must be created.
Bruno Duperrier then turns to SATT Paris-Saclay to present his project, Morphée+, created in collaboration with ONERA and its team of researchers. SATT carries out two studies in France and in USA that validates the project of fall detection and facilitates the development through a financing of 400 000€. Morphée+ starts officially on 19 April 2018 with a strong support from its partners.
The arrival of the X-Up incubator
In April 2019, Morphée + is selected by the incubator of Ecole Polytechnique for joining its 9th promotion. The team that came just with a demonstrator left with a true prototype six months later. Meanwhile, they got expert advice for validating the technical aspects of their solution and creation of a strategical benchmark and a business model.
“We were happy to be selected by the X-Up because it meant that our project had potential technically and was technologically important. Having the Ecole Polytechnique taking a stake in our start-up is a good sign!” adds Bruno Duperrier.
Morphée + does not target only the old-age homes in France. Since 2018, the group is in contact with partners in Japan, Australia, New Zealand and even USA. The objective of the start-up is to distribute devices for fall detection in real time in as many nursing homes as possible.
How does Morphée+ function ?
Morphée+ is a system for fall detection in real time patented by ONERA. What is its value addition as compared to other options? One does not have to wear a bracelet or install a camera. “I read 1984 and did not want a Big Brother in my room.”, jokes Bruno. “For me, it is essential to respect the privacy of seniors by eliminating cameras. As far as the sensors are concerned, the majority of senior citizens forget to wear them and it only detects upto 18% of cases of falling.”
Our objective is to create a true network of integrators to provide a solution on French territory completely and as well as internationally for the old-age homes and nursing homes. Following that, we would like to distribute through the teleassistance centers for taking care of seniors at home, explains Bruno.
The Morphée+ detector is pillar-shaped and can be installed in the corner of a room. Three radar sensors make up the column : a global sensor that analyses the totality of the piece(detection upto 7 meters), a horizontal sensor and a sensor for the bed. If the elderly person is not detected by the sensors, it means that he has fallen and an alert is triggered automatically. The caregivers receive a notification on their information device and can react rapidly for treating the patient. Morphée+ detects more than 97% of falls with less than 1% false alerts.
Reducing serious fall rates in EHPAD
Every year, more than 450 000 people aged above 65 years face accidents due to falling. 9300 deaths and 1 incident of falling out 12 lead to fracture, generally in the neck and femur. This leads to 76000 hospitalisations in a year. All this cost around two billion Euros to social security and insurance companies.
By equipping the old-age homes with Morphée+, we reduce the number of cases of serious falling and its consequences: less hospitalisations, emergency room admissions, time spent on the floor and rapid intervention by caregivers.
At present, the Morphée+ fall detection system is deployed in EHPAD in France and shall be available soon internationally.
Rapid fall detection at home
Apart from EHPAD, Morphée+ aims to distribute its solution to teleassistance centres for taking care of seniors at home. In this framework, the system may alert a near one, a neighbour, an emergency service or teleassistance centre. The device will bring true value to teleoperators with reduced false alarms for a rapid intervention.
Currently, we are working on the national Silver Surfer 6.0 call for projects to demonstrate that our solution can work at home as well as in old-age homes. With the endowment, we would like to develop this aspect of Morphée +., reveals Bruno.
Anticipate cardiac and respiratory diseases
Morphée+ is not just about detection of falling in elderly people. It also ensures monitoring of breathing speed and rate as well as movements of the rib cage and heartbeat throughout the day. It allows the prediction of appearance of respiratory and cardiac problems with daily monitoring: pneumonia, SARS and even the onset of Cov-19. It cannot automatically diagnose but alert the caregiver in order to avoid risks. The idea is to provide best possible care in the old-age home while relieving caregivers.
Today, Morphée+ is continuously conducting R&D to ameliorate certain functions in the detector especially with respect to cardiac and respiratory problems that are a topic of interest these days. By the end of the year, Morphée+ shall become a Class 1 medical device, the first among fall detectors. Deployment at homes and in international markets are the next steps for this healthcare start-up.