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50 Innovative Companies to Watch 2020

Take control of aging and caregiving with an innovative digital health solution from LiveFreely

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Critical domains of societies are now adopting Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) to become a key priority to community members and governments. For the past few years, mobile devices have been embraced widely, creating a worldwide market. This development has led to the rise of another category of software application development, telehealth. Various applications are now available to help healthcare professionals to improve patient outcomes. Telehealth is the use of ICTs to provide healthcare services remotely through which patients/users can take care of their health without the need for an in-person doctor’s visit. These technologies are used to support or improve people’s lifestyles. Various companies are pioneering in the healthcare segment, but one that stands out from the rest is LiveFreely. LiveFreely has grown quickly from a vision to a platform. From two brothers working in Silicon Valley and striving to solve problems that they experienced in caregiving for their aging father, LiveFreely has evolved into a company with a global team, intent on helping to keep our elderly loved ones safe, independent, and connected. Over the past decade, both Arthur and Daniel have felt the urgent need for a personal digital health assistant app like BUDDY. They now feel more strongly than ever that the sooner BUDDY can scale in the market, the more lives it can assist and even save. The entire team in the US and abroad has been working feverishly to bring BUDDY to fruition specifically over the past four years, frequently “burning the candle at both ends.” They are extremely excited to now offer their first public beta of BUDDY, which is available at www.buddylife.com. After registering on the website, individuals will receive a link to download BUDDY onto their Fitbit Versa or Ionic (and soon Apple) smartwatches, enjoying the benefits of worry-free living.

Motivation behind LiveFreely

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The idea of BUDDY was born shortly after the passing of Arthur and Daniel’s father, Raymond Jue. Both brothers served as caregivers for their father as he aged, so they experienced the challenges of caregiving firsthand. Their father had suffered an ischemic stroke, which left him partially paralyzed. He had also developed vascular dementia, had a fall which resulted in a hip replacement, endured suspected abuse from a professional caregiver, had diabetes, heart arrhythmia, hyperthyroidism, hypertension, and a number of other age-related health issues that necessitated numerous medications. Arthur took care of his father alone for two years after his mother suddenly passed away from a hemorrhagic stroke. Then, Daniel joined him, and they both dealt with the burdens of caregiving daily. They saw that the technology to monitor, assist, and stay connected with loved ones was ineffective at best, constantly struggling with questions like “If Dad fell and was unable to call for help, how would we know?”

After his passing, the brothers began to reminisce, and their conversation turned to how the caregiving process could be improved. Immediately, the two entrepreneurial minded brothers began writing sticky note after sticky note, matching technologies with needs. The brother’s played devil’s advocate with one another, peppering each other with questions about the best way to implement caregiving technology realistically and practically. As they brainstormed, the sticky notes became more organized. Risks were mitigated, and an implementation plan was gradually developed. BUDDY by LiveFreely began to take shape.

Smart Health Platform

BUDDY is a personal health assistant app that monitors, tracks, and alerts first responders to critical health issues and is designed to give both seniors and their caregivers a greater sense of security. Instead of creating an entirely new device that might be clunky and “mark” seniors as fall risks, BUDDY pairs with stylish smartwatches such as FitBit and Apple Watch. Many seniors resent and avoid the emergency necklaces and devices that make them stand out as “elderly in need.” To solve this, BUDDY leverages the fashionable Fitbit, for example, allowing the seniors to feel active and relevant, while taking advantage of all the benefits of a smartwatch and enjoying the security that BUDDY provides. BUDDY has 5 main functions:

  • Automatic fall detection and alerts
  • Medication adherence and schedule reminders
  • Location detection and alerts for individuals with dementia and Alzheimer’s who wander
  • “Code Blue” or cardiac event detection and alerts, and
  • Irregular health pattern detection and notification

Many of BUDDY’s features make the jobs of first responders easier. If an emergency event happens, loved ones and caregivers are immediately notified. If they are unable to respond, Emergency Services is then notified. BUDDY can transmit many of the same vitals that are monitored in an emergency room directly to 911 and ambulances enroute. This can result in better, faster help even before a patient arrives at the hospital. Daniel gained firsthand experience of this need when he was an EMT: “I would have loved to have that kind of detailed information even before arriving at a patient’s location.” BUDDY makes the transmission of this information possible. Most smartwatches require downloading different apps to secure the same information: one app for heart rate, one for medication, another for schedule, and another for location. As an all-in-one personal health assistant, BUDDY combines all of these features - and more - together in one app as a comprehensive platform so that families can keep their loved ones safe and enjoy greater peace of mind.

The Future

LiveFreely is continuously working on added functionality for BUDDY. Although BUDDY is currently targeted for seniors to take control of their aging, the company plans to thesiliconreview-image3-livefreely-20release editions more specifically customized to other verticals, such as active children and sports-minded individuals with specific health needs. BUDDY also has the ability to integrate with systems used by assisted living centers, nursing homes, and homecare facilities. In addition, LiveFreely is aggressively extending BUDDY internationally and to other platforms, such as Android. In fact, the company has been validating the utility of BUDDY in identifying and detecting the potential presence of asymptomatic influenza, e.g. when flu conditions exist even if physical symptoms do not appear.

Meet the leaders behind the success of LiveFreely

LiveFreely was co-founded by Dr. Arthur Jue and Daniel Jue. Arthur Jue serves as CEO of LiveFreely, and has experience as an entrepreneur, corporate executive, educator, and author. He has experience as a senior leader at companies such as IBM, Oracle, and Hyperion. In addition, Dr. Jue is an award-winning independent film producer, enjoys rock-collecting, is an artist, performs frequently as a concert violinist, and enjoys Latin dancing as well as martial arts. Daniel Jue serves as Co-founder & CTO of LiveFreely, Inc. He has over 20 years of experience in emerging technology and professional software development in companies such as IBM. A self-taught programmer, he wrote his first computer game at the age of 8 on a Radio Shack TRS-80 with only 4k of RAM. Having lived and worked abroad for ten years, he can speak several languages. He has a deep passion for entrepreneurship and has started several companies in the tech, import/export, and hospitality industries. He loves serving his community, exotic car racing, and animals.

“Powered by revolutionary AI technology, families and loved ones can now enjoy unprecedented levels of freedom, connectedness and safety while living life to its fullest!”