Secure Independence for People in Nursing Homes - Thanks to Swiss Innovation
An elderly person in long-term care falls on the way to the bathroom and cannot reach the emergency button. Thanks to SmartLiberty, such scenarios are a thing of the past. Here, people wear the emergency button directly on their wrists. This is connected to the smart phone of the specialist staff, who can react immediately. No shrill sound, no unnecessary panic, but targeted and quick reaction.
At the same time, SmartLiberty products extend the independence and freedom of people in nursing homes. For example, a sensor system gives invisible signals when a person leaves the protected environment without permission and is in danger. We spoke with SmartLiberty CEO Tobias Britz to learn more about the company.
How would you summarize what SmartLiberty does?
More freedom and security for residents, relief and support for staff. We give people in long-term care their independence and a bit of freedom back. You can move in a protected frame without encountering barriers or locked doors. At the same time the staff receives all information and emergency signals on the mobile phone via the app and can react immediately, if a person leaves the safe zones. Sudden alarms in the corridor are a thing of the past. It is also possible to immediately prove to relatives how quickly an incident could be reacted to - this creates trust.
How do you further develop your products and services?
On the one hand, we have our own R&D department, and on the other, we hold User Innovation Days, where we involve home managers, nursing staff and residents in product development in order to fully meet their needs. We want to make life easier and more enjoyable for everyone - by putting people first.
What were the obstacles on the road to success and how did you master them?
Well, we saw ourselves in a similar situation to Advanon. It was a bit complicated at first to enter a saturated market with innovative solutions. Success came later than planned. In addition, there is a shortage of skilled workers. Finding good engineers is complicated. But thanks to creative recruiting methods and platforms like cafepro.ch, we've got that under control. And of course we needed money at the beginning to finance developments and market development. Thanks to an external investor, it went quite smoothly.
When and why did Advanon come into play?
The project business causes large fluctuations in cash flow. These are also negatively influenced by the complex payment processes for construction projects. An example: The invoice has to go to the planner, then to the architect, then to the client, then to the accounting department, then finally the money comes. We had to find a solution to intercept it. Talking to banks in the construction phase is far too slow and inflexible. We came across Advanon via Facebook and were able to solve some of our financial challenges within hours. Fast, simple, uncomplicated, useful.
Did the decision in favor of Advanon influence your growth, and if so, how?
Thanks in part to Advanon, we have been able to grow by an average of 25% per year in recent years. That would not have been possible otherwise. This has also generated some jobs.
What do you particularly like about Advanon?
Advanon is simple, modern, uncomplicated, fast and useful. An adjustment of the credit limit can be requested, checked and approved via chat within 3 minutes. That's Banking 4.0! In special cases (such as pooling invoices), Advanon is immediately on board as a partner and helps you find the right options together.
What are your plans and next steps for SmartLiberty?
SmartLiberty started exporting to the EU at the end of 2018. We will soon be exporting to more than 60 countries and disseminating Swiss innovations on a large scale