Innovation is the key to continuous improvement, competitiveness, and progress in society and the economy. The 2021 InnoPrix award recognises visionary ideas that will shape the world of tomorrow. This year, there were once again many new project submissions for the panel of judges to consider. The eventual winner was QUMEA AG, a Swiss healthtech start-up based in Solothurn.
QUMEA has developed a high-tech yet inconspicuous and entirely anonymous system that makes hospitals and nursing homes safer places for people who are at risk of falling. The QUMEA sensor, which is based on the latest three-dimensional radar technology, is designed to be installed on the ceiling of a care room. Because it is sensitive to even the smallest of movements, the sensor is able to determine the position, posture and physical condition of the patients or residents who are present in the room. In the QUMEA Cloud, the movement data is analysed using artificial intelligence and critical situations are identified in real time. The resulting information is sent to the QUMEA app, whose intuitive, easy-to-use functions allow caregivers to monitor vulnerable individuals at the touch of a button and in accordance with specific requirements. Caregivers can be notified when patients or residents are about to get out of bed, for example, which helps to prevent falls or identify when they have occurred.
QUMEA has already demonstrated how its technology adds value at twelve different institutions, including acute-care hospitals, psychiatric units and nursing homes. As well as dramatically reducing the number of falls, the QUMEA movement data can lead to significant improvements in the day-to-day operation of a care setting. Particularly during night shifts, when staffing levels tend to be much lower, the targeted, real-time alerts that it generates can make routine caregiving activities feel far less hectic.
QUMEA was founded in 2019 and employs twelve people in its fast-growing team. The canton of Solothurn is the location for all of its value creation processes, something that is very important for the company, which is proud to say that its hardware and software is not only ‘Made in Switzerland’ but also ‘Made in Solothurn’.
The Baloise Bank SoBa foundation has presented the InnoPrix SoBa award since 1987 to promote trade and industry in Solothurn. Every year, it honours a project that brings fresh ideas and positive momentum to the Solothurn economic area. As well as receiving prize money, the winner is given the opportunity to present themselves and their project to the public during the award ceremony.