BUPA Invests $3.8 Million In Vigil To Improve Health Monitoring Tools For Senior Population


New Zealand-based digital health startup Vigil Monitoring announces a $3.8 million strategic investment from BUPA Health, a global healthcare delivery organization with 22 million patients spread across 190 countries. In exchange, BUPA will take a 25 percent ownership stake in Vigil, and will provide direct business and product development coaching.

Vigil launched in 2012 on a $1.5 million seed round with a goal of building an ecosystem of remote patient monitoring tools to support New Zealand’s senior population, and the caregivers that look after them. The company built a prototype and then raised a $3 million Series A in November 2013 from Spark Ventures the investment arm of NZ telecom giant, Spark. That investment sent a 40 percent ownership stake to Spark and gave Vigil the runway it needed to finalize its product development, pilot its prototype, and built its team. In addition to funding, Spark was promising to bring technology expertise, networking, distribution, and marketing support.

Over the course of 2014, Vigil moved from the idea stage into a busy startup managing a growing team focused on full product development and proof-of-concept testing. Vigil set out to build a souped-up wearable designed to monitor activity, temperature, and sudden changes in heart rate. The device can also reportedly detect and respond to falls. Information captured by the device streams to a cloud-based data center where algorithms pour over the data and help Vigil staff members identify problems within the senior population. The company will monetize by selling the device as a stand-alone activity tracker, or by selling additional remote patient monitoring services to health systems, payers, and directly to consumers and caregivers.

Now, with a fresh capital from BUPA, Vigil is ready to scale its business model. Vigil CEO Alan Brannigan says, “With the product launch at the end of the year, we expect to be in the black by next year.” The company will focus on New Zealand and Australia initially, but has already acknowledged that it is acutely aware that there are larger international markets where its platform might do well.

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