Posted on February 27, 2017 by staff

Healthtech start-up Howz claims £30,000 EDF Energy prize


Manchester-based start-up Howz has won the EDF Energy Pulse Award for Connected Home and Business.

Howz is a connected home solution which lets families know that friends and relatives are safe and well.

Having completed a ten-week development programme with the company’s innovation accelerator, Blue Lab, Howz was crowned the winner at EDF Energy’s Innovators’ Day in Central London.

It followed a morning of live pitching to an expert panel against four other finalists from the UK, Norway, Spain and the Netherlands.

Howz will receive a £30,000 grant and continued support from Blue Lab’s panel of experts to look at potential ways to trial and promote the product to EDF Energy’s customers.

Jonathan Burr, founder and CEO of Howz, said: “The past ten weeks have been such an eye-opening and valuable experience for the Howz team.

“We’re extremely grateful for the opportunity and to the other finalists who were so open and honest, it became a real shared experience among us all.

“Working with the Blue Lab team has been phenomenally beneficial to us; having the opportunity to work with a company that cares about developing ideas for people is something that really resonates with the values of Howz, and we look forward to working more closely with EDF Energy in the future.”

The Howz connected home system measures a household’s usage of electricity and combines this with information from a series of sensors that detect door movement, temperature and light levels in a person’s home, to build up a pattern of daily behaviour and alerts family members if the user’s normal routine is broken.

The system uses statistical principles and machine learning to identify unusual activity or trends and notify a person’s care network, using predictive analytics and a knowledge of frailty and functional decline to give early warning of trends that could develop into a serious situation.

Predominantly aimed at elderly people typically living alone, the system has been created to empower the individual to let their care network know they are safe, warm and well.

“Howz really took on board all of the help and advice on offer at EDF Energy’s Blue Lab and I would like to congratulate them on their deserved success,” said Jean-Benoit Ritz, director of innovation at Blue Lab.

“We look forward to working with Howz and seeing how we can help customers together.”

Stuart Marks, chairman at innovation partner L Marks, said: “Our main goal for Blue Lab was to find start-ups with disruptive, innovative solutions that could really make a difference to EDF Energy operations. What a result!

“The Blue Lab team have worked with five teams who are all working on fantastic ideas.

“Howz provide a solution that resonates with us all, the market potential here is huge. They are definitely one to watch.”