Japan’s wearable smart toy Moff gets $2.7M to make entry into healthcare business

Moff Band – capable of detecting body motion by mounted gyro sensors and sending it to smart device
Image credit: Moff

See the original story in Japanese.

Japan’s Moff, developing wearable sensor devices / services, last week announced that it has succeeded in fundraising in order to promote a platform for health / exercise / rehabilitation field utilizing its sensor. This time, the firm fundraised a total of 300 million yen (about $2.7 million) from Energy & Environment Investment, Mitsubishi Research Institute (MRI) and Tsuneishi Capital Partners.

The platform for rehabilitation use currently under development is a system to encourage health enhancement, care prevention and preventive medicine mainly targeting the elderly, by distributing content linked to body motions detected by the wearable sensor on user wrists.

Moff and one of the investors, MRI, had last December already agreed to a capital / business tie-up regarding utilization of the Moff devices in care prevention / rehabilitation field for the elderly. it should be noted that the fundraising this time and that of last December are the same.

The concept of Moff was first revealed in February of 2014. Subsequent fundraising from Bandai Namco and others in September occurred the following year, and the firm has been expanding its services to “intellect training” or gamification fields. According to CEO of Moff Akinori Takahagi, as its business basis has become gradually established, the firm decided to proceed to the next stage – health enhancement business for the elderly with the “2025 problem (the aging population problems in Japan which will become serious by 2025)” in the backdrop.

Takahagi looks forward the demand from the healthcare field:

In addition to Moff for children or packaged products with educational materials for nursery schools and kindergartens, we had promoted research and development focusing on healthcare for about a year.

As the “2025 problem” will become serious, one in five Japanese will become a late-stage elderly (75 years and over) and the reduction in the burden of nursing care as to manpower will be called for strongly.

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Image of the elderly healthcare platform
Image credit: Moff

Details of the service will be disclosed a little bit later, but I could take a look at the demo in advance. It appeared that the human motion was digitalized when  rehabilitation training took place, by putting the well-known Moff Band on the wrist.

Body motions cannot be easily visualized. By entrusting such devices or apps to determine whether the correct movement is achieved or not, users can freely take on the cycle of health enhancement tasks while at home alone. Takahagi explained the aim of the service thus.

The firm much stressed the number of users willing to pay the monthly fees for apps or services through hardware products in its business model. Unlike conventional services for child users, a completely different future is expected in the business for the elderly. It is interesting as to what kind of business growth the firm will see.

Translated by Taijiro Takeda
Edited by “Tex” Pomeroy