Originally posted on Technical.ly March 7, 2022, written by Paige Gross.
After a three-month pilot with the Behavioral Wellness Center (BeWell), an addiction treatment center in North Philadelphia, ROAR for Good is officially entering the healthcare industry with its personal safety device technology, AlwaysOn.
The expansion into the new vertical has been on CEO and cofounder Yasmine Mustafa’s mind for some time. She had pivoted the company from B2B to B2B with a focus on hospitality right as COVID-19 made it one of the hardest-hit industries of 2020, but legislation requiring hotels to provide their staff with personal safety devices — as well as an increase in assaults on service workers amid the pandemic — has flooded the company with requests, she told Technical.ly.
Healthcare professionals were also seeing an upswing in assaults. Not only were hospitals overwhelmed with COVID-19 over the last two years, but substance abuse rose.
“We learned there was a clear need and financial impact for those in that system,” Mustafa said. “Violence against staff has more than doubled in COVID, and with patient restrictions, and restrictions on visitors and other things, patients have become irritable and take it out on the staff.”
ROAR’s product, AlwaysOn, enhances monitoring capabilities for a given organization’s staff and delivers a quick response to on-site safety threats for workers via a wearable button. In the fall, Mustafa said, staff at BeWell approached ROAR to see if these wearable safety devices could adapt to patient care settings. After a pilot at the healthcare system’s Eighth and Girard location, the ROAR team learned they would have to make minimal changes to the product to make it work well for the staff. The only major adjustment was a clear plastic dome covering the sensors installed in each room, she said.
During the three months, the facility saw a 24% reduction in staff-versus-patient incident claims after the implementation of the ROAR platform, it reported. An employee survey showed a 20% increase in satisfaction with workplace safety and a 28% increase in satisfaction with incident response. ROAR is now an official partner of the Center.
“In order for our patients to feel supported and to find the road to recovery, our clinical professionals need to be at the top of their game — and that means feeling safe. This technology allows them to focus on the diagnosis and treatment of patients, and avoid worrying about safety concerns,” BeWell CFO Doug Maier said in a statement. “ROAR for Good arrived at the perfect time for our business, as it has helped minimize risk and empower our workforce during a historically challenging era for healthcare.”
Mustafa said they’ll be implementing the ROAR technology at two of the healthcare system’s other buildings, and will outfit each floor for daily use. The company also raised a $1.8 million bridge round to help with the expansion, before an anticipated Series A later this year. (The CEO didn’t share details on who contributed to the round.) ROAR has begun allocating sales and marketing resources to the healthcare market, and has grown its team to 24 fully remote employees.
Meanwhile, the company is continuing to expand its work in the hospitality field, and is operating at hotels across the US, including The Warwick in Center City and another Philly-based hotel on the horizon. The technology is applicable to many other use cases, Mustafa said, as the ROAR team considers incoming interest from those working in incarceration facilities, stadiums, airports and other service-based workplaces.
“We’ve all seen the videos of people working in a shopping mall, or an airport who’s safety has been threatened over the last two years,” Mustafa said. “Because of the way things have shifted, safety has been elevated concern of employers even outside of when it’s mandated, like in hospitality. Between the pandemic and labor shortages, people have been more active about their employees’ concerns, which is something we’re glad to see.”