3rings enters the Dragons’ Den, comes out with strategic investor

click to enlargeAbout two years ago, we started following 3rings, a Stoke-on-Trent (UK) company that develope an appliance plug that automatically ‘checks in’ an older person based on their morning behavior of turning on a tea kettle, TV or other appliance. We’ve received word from their CEO Steve Purdham that they’ve announced today (Thursday) a substantial strategic investment from not-for-profit insurer Westfield Health. Mr Purdham (picture left) had appeared on the BBC program Dragons’ Den with mum Iris (prominently featured in their ads) to raise £300,000 for a 10 percent share in the company. (For our US readers, Dragons’ Den is similar to Shark Tank or Project Startup.) According to the website release, Westfield Health was attracted to the company through the show, has invested more than twice the funding requested by Mr Purdham from the Dragons, and will be offering the 3rings plug to their current and future customers.

David Capper, their Commercial Director (picture right), acknowledged the attraction of technology in their first major external investment in this type of health tech. “There is an emerging market for smart technology to support health, wellbeing and family care. The UK population is getting older and many of our customers are in the ‘sandwich generation’ – balancing work commitments, with caring for older family members and looking after their own children – 3rings technology has the potential to help….As well as assisting us in broadening our service portfolio it supports our ethos of helping people at every stage of their lives.” (This last is a refreshing take which is unfortunately absent from the US side of the ‘pond’.) 3rings combines the wireless (mobile) daily check-in with a cloud messaging platform to update family and friends about check-ins, alerting them when there could be a problem, using their smartphone app, email, text or automated calls. It’s a simple, low cost but effective means of telecare, as we’ve previously observed, similar to the idea behind the original QuietCare (disclosure as usual in that this Editor worked for the developer).

Certainly a cheering development–and could it mean that 3rings might jump across the Atlantic?  Our earlier 3rings coverage is here.

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