11 August 2022
Cardiff start-up and TSA member Tendertec has won UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) funding for £1.8M project to encourage sustainable physical activity for under-represented groups currently not engaging with the digital fitness market.
The new digital fitness support service, known as FitBees, will combine Tendertec’s connected care platform, home sensors and wearable technologies with motivational encouragement and community connections to support activity.
Tendertec, the AI start-up behind the connected care platform Hestia, which enables the remote monitoring of daily living activities of people with carers, announced today that it had secured a grant of £1.4M from UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) as part of the Healthy Ageing Challenge.
The funding will be used to support the development of FitBees and has a strong user-centred design process to ensure that FitBees meets the needs of its customers.
Other partners in the project include learning disability charity Hft, technology enabled care provider Community Housing, University of the West of England and KYMIRA, a company producing patented smart garments that provide biomechanical assessment of the lower extremities.
Today, more than 40% of people aged 55 and over are inactive, costing the NHS almost £100m annually. During the COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns, one million more people became inactive. Inactivity is most acute across under-represented groups who are not engaging, physically or digitally with a market that focuses more on those who are already motivated to be active.
Dr. Afroditi Konidari, CEO and Co-Founder at Tendertec, said: “We appreciate the trust UK Research and Innovation has put into our project, and we are honoured to be leading a consortium of partners that have the skills, experience and dedication to help under-represented groups overcome challenges to becoming more physically active. In the post-pandemic era, we need to find new ways to support people aged 55+, especially those feeling marginalised, to become and remain physically active and socially connected. We are working closely with our consortium to bring a game changing product into the digital fitness market”.
The funding is part of the UKRI Healthy Ageing Challenge supporting the delivery of market innovations within the growing healthy ageing domain.
George MacGinnis, Healthy Ageing Challenge Director at UK Research and Innovation, said: “Many of us are living for longer and want to make the most of the opportunities in later life, which can include continuing to work and volunteer. Despite this, the market for products and services which genuinely meet the needs of older people is underdeveloped. Innovators need a better understanding of the rich and varied lives people lead as they age, moving away from a utilitarian view of providing only what they think older people need. That is why a commitment to inclusive design is so important it provides an understanding of how people want to live their lives and what they would most like, to make the most of their time.”
Tendertec is the start-up bringing connected care to the world. The award-winning team is developing solutions delivering better care, anytime & anywhere, through powerful A.I. Tendertec partners with leading research institutions, tech-enabled care providers and cutting-edge technology partners to research, design and bring to market the next generation of digital health and connected care technologies that will give one billion people a better ageing journey in the 21st century.
About UK Research and Innovation (UKRI)
Big challenges demand big thinkers - those who can unlock the answers and further our understanding of the important issues of our time. Our work encompasses everything from the physical, biological and social sciences, to innovation, engineering, medicine, the environment and the cultural impact of the arts and humanities. In all of these areas, our role is to bring together the people who can innovate and change the world for the better. We work with the government to invest over £8 billion a year in research and innovation by partnering with academia and industry to make the impossible, possible. Through the UK’s nine leading academic and industrial funding councils, we create knowledge with impact.
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