Walk with confidence.

The SAF-T VEST™ will provide 360-degree fall injury protection, from the hips to the head.

Watch our video

Jay A. Davenport, M.D. (second from left) demonstrates how the direction of a fall can increase the risk of certain kinds of injuries. The SAF-T VEST is designed to protect fracture prone areas of the body–from the hips to the head. Video produced by Jason Foucault. Illustrations by Dan O’Leary

Our crowdfunding raise closes soon! Help speed our progress and have a stake in our success!

So what is Crowdfunding?

As a small start-up developing a technology solution, we need to raise money to continue to grow and advance in our work. That’s why we are partnering with Wefunder, one of the leading crowdfunding platforms in the country. Here’s how Wefunder describes crowdfunding:

"Starting in May of 2016, thanks to a new law called Regulation Crowdfunding, it became legal for everyone to invest small amounts of money in the startups they believed in. We help everyone invest as little as $100 in the startups they love. You decide which companies are worthy of funding."   - Wefunder FAQs

The SAF-T VEST. Designed to reduce the risk of devastating injuries from falls.

Note: Our wearable technology is in prototyping, and not yet available to the public.

Davenport SAF-T Systems is a BETA Cohort Spring 2023 participant. BETA accelerates the success of founders from Minnesota-based technology startups.

The problem of fall injuries

An estimated three million people in the U.S. are rushed to hospitals each year due to devastating injuries from falls.1 Tens of thousands of these injuries result in life-changing consequences ranging from hip fractures to head injuries to death. At least 300,000 older people in the U.S. suffer hip fractures each year; more than 95% of these injuries are caused by falling. They are also the most common cause of traumatic brain injuries.2

In short, fall injuries are a $50 billion public health crisis.

The SAF-T VEST solution

Jay Davenport, M.D, a board-certified orthopaedic surgeon, designed a patented, wearable tech solution. It’s called the SAF-T VEST–a “smart” vest that will reduce the risk of serious injuries from falls.

Most strategies to reduce injuries from falls focus on prevention. Dr. Davenport decided a different approach was needed: fall protection.

Tiny sensors will detect a fall in progress. Then, airbags inflate in less than a half-second to absorb the impact of the fall and reduce the risk of severe injury. The bags rapidly deflate to ensure a soft landing, like a deflating air mattress.

Davenport SAF-T Systems was awarded a $28,000 Innovation Grant from Launch Minnesota in February 2022.

The airbag system is built into the vest, along with the sensors and a micro-computer. The vest will come in a variety colors, styles and thermal ratings for use in warm and moderate climates. We’ll have versions for sleeping too. Sneak a peek at our first generation prototype in the video below.

Recently, Davenport SAF-T Systems unveiled its patented SAF-T VEST™ proof of concept and first-generation prototype at the Senior Design Show at the University of St. Thomas School of Engineering. Learn more on our News page.

As seen in the video below, this prototype deploys only one airbag, which is designed to offer protection in a forward fall. Our fully- developed SAF-T VEST will feature a network of airbags providing fall injury protection from the hips to the head, no matter which direction the user falls. However, the prototype demonstrates the most important functions of the future version.

Davenport SAF-T Systems collaborated with the School of Engineering at University of St. Thomas (St. Paul, Minn.) to build a 1st gen working prototype.
Grant winner

Davenport SAF-T Systems received a $28,000 Innovation Grant for its work to reduce devastating injuries from falls. The award brings validation and funds to support advanced engineering. Learn more in News.

The SAF-T VEST comes in various styles suitable for warm and moderate climates.

Growing old at home

“There’s no place like home,” said Dorothy, from the Wizard of Oz. It turns out America’s senior citizens agree.

Davenport SAF-T Systems is a 2021 MassChallenge finalist; one of just 229 startups chosen from more than 3,000 applicants.

According to the American Association of Retired People (AARP), more than 90% of people aged 65 and over plan to stay in their homes as long as possible. So, what can we do to help extend our independent living? Experts say get up and get moving. The risks of falling increase as we age. Changes in vision, hearing and certain medications can affect balance. A bad fall can change a person’s quality of life in an instant. Consequences include expensive medical care, long-term rehabilitation and a permanent loss of independence. Many begin a path of physical decline.

However, regular exercise, including walking, can help reduce that risk. The SAF-T VEST lets you walk with confidence, providing the protection you need if you ever lose your balance.

The SAF-T VEST: a new idea using proven technology

Personal crash protection systems designed for high-speed sports like motorcycling and downhill skiing rely on similar components.This “smart” vest is a significant advance in fall protection. For decades, one of the few options was the AHIP protector–a bulky undergarment with padding for the hips. The Tango Belt, made in France, is equipped with sensors and deploys one airbag over each hip, leaving other areas exposed to injury.

By providing injury protection in a fall scenario, the SAF-T VEST helps seniors stay active.

According to AARP, more than 10,000 seniors turn 65 each day, a rate expected to continue into the 2030s. There are more than 53 million seniors in the U.S. Our target market includes clinicians, hospitals, long-term care facilities and seniors. Adult children of seniors represent an important secondary market.

Contact us

Are you interested in purchasing the SAF-T VEST when it becomes available? Or would you like to participate in a future pilot study? Do you have other questions? Get on our list and we’ll be in touch!

  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. Web–based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System (WISQARS) [online]. Accessed August 5, 2016.
  2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “Important Facts about Falls.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 10 Feb. 2017. Web. 02 Apr. 2017.