Under the Nobi lamp with… Stijn Verrept

January, 4th 2022
By: Nobi team

In our ‘Under the Nobi lamp with…’ column, Nobi likes to put all our valuable team members in the spotlight. Today Nobi proudly presents: Stijn, CEO of Nobi.

 

What does your average day look like?

It really depends on the day. My mission is to make sure that Nobi becomes successful and everything I do is geared towards that success. That might involve helping out with the actual installment of one of our systems, or explaining how it works to family members. There are days that I get involved in the programming or that I join Sven when he goes to see his clients. Sometimes I talk to David about Nobi’s design or I work on subsidy dossiers. My duties comprise a very wide scope of activities.

Where did the idea for Nobi come from?

The original idea came from Bert, but considering our shared background in the health sector, we were all aware of the need for a new perspective and how technology could play an important role in this. Also, we all have an older family member who fell. In my case, it was my grandmother.

What advantage does Nobi offer, compared to other monitoring devices?

The technology that was available on the market when we started, simply didn’t address the problem. In the case of a panic bottom, assuming there is one at hand, senior citizens don’t necessarily think about using it when they need it.  And the so-called ‘wearables’ don’t always provide the guarantee needed to effectively react when the situation occurs. So a device disguised as a lamp that constantly monitors a particular setting and reacts to changes in that environment, is quite the development. Our main ambition is to drastically reduce the number of senior citizens who fall and don’t get the help they deserve. Not only do 45% of all people aged over 65 fall several times a year, but half of the people that remain of the floor for more than one hour after falling, dies within 6 months. That needs to change.

Aside from the bird’s-eye view it provides, Nobi is also beautifully designed.

All credits for the design go to David from Antwerp-based design studio Studio dos Santos.

We’re also delighted with the acknowledgments we received for Nobi so far. After the Henry van de Velde Gold Award in 2021, we were also awarded by the German Design Council, so it’s clear we made the right choice by teaming up with David. In order for Nobi to blend into someone’s familiar surroundings, it needed to feel like an everyday object. The fact that it is also nice to look at, makes it less of a medical device. Despite it being very techy, there’s also something very tactile about it.

Which also destigmatizes it.

Yes, contrary to the feeling a wearable gives you, you are not constantly reminded of what might happen. Since we integrated other features in our lamp, Nobi goes beyond fall detection: it’s also a burglar alarm system and an application that allows pictures to be shared. This means that when family members suggest introducing Nobi into a household, the conversation doesn’t need to be limited to the issue of ‘falling’. The other features can also be added to the conversation, making it less daunting for whomever Nobi is being installed.

How did you go about putting together the team?

It was Bert who came up with the idea and I immediately thought it was a great concept. It was one of those light bulb moments that made sense on all levels. I was lucky enough to be allowed to put together the team I had in mind. Having someone like Niels on board immediately sets the bar high. He’s immensely talented, can easily outshine his fellow peers with his knowledge and he’s very aware of the technical pitfalls. Roeland can brighten up an entire room just by mentioning Nobi, which is why he is so great at powering up third parties, such as investors, to plug into our plans for the future. And then there is Thomas, our hardware guy, and Sven who has an amazing network. Nobi requires a soft approach to sales and he’s really the perfect guy for the job. Bert suggested David for the design of the actual lamp. He’s a wizard: always on the beam and a joy to work with.

It’s a true, we’re quite the team. We’re a perfect match with regards to our knowledge, competences and personalities. We have a keen eye for how technology will be the main focal point with regards to the future of healthcare – and being the dark house in such an exciting realm of business is quite the accomplishment for a Belgian company.

Shine your light on the rest of our team!

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