Local startup Safe Heart develops innovative wellness applications and accessories. You may remember reading our Q&A with Safe Heart last spring when we chatted with them about the iOximeter (@ioximeter), a pulse oximeter for smart phones that measures a person’s pulse rate and blood oxygen saturation. They have been developing more products since then and Yale Zhang and Rahul Bakane are ready to show off the MobiCuff, a smartphone blood pressure monitor.
We caught up with Katie Luther, Safe Heart’s director of communications, to find out more about the MobiCuff.
Safe Heart sees products such as the MobiCuff and the iOximeter as different products fueling one common viral trend.
“The direction and aim of Safe Heart has not changed with the introduction of our new product. We are operating under the theory that smart phones have become the most powerful device we carry. Our goal is still to provide access to vital signs monitoring everywhere through the smartphone. Last year the iOximeter was our method of achieving this goal. This year we are focused on the release of MobiCuff: a blood pressure monitor that connects to smart phones. Like the iOximeter, there are no batteries required for the MobiCuff. It’s once again powered straight from the phone. It uses a hand pump arm cuff to measure the user’s blood pressure and displays their results on the screen of their phone.”
Aside from it being cutting-edge and cool, the MobiCuff is also solving real issues within society.
“The number of people with high blood pressure and heart disease continues to escalate around the world. People who have high blood pressure do not make time to regularly have their blood pressure measured and even those who have home blood pressure monitors still do not measure as often as needed. MobiCuff is a blood pressure monitor that will encourage more regular use. Our greatest feature is the addition of gamification on the app to incentivize users to monitor themselves daily. We are incorporating features on the app to reward users when they continually self-monitor for certain periods of time. When they do so, they will be able to unlock features including ability to share their results with others and to have results interpreted by an expert cardiologist. By the way, MobiCuff also happens to be pretty reliable and accurate as well as affordable.”
Yes, she said affordable. It’s currently less than half the cost of similar products, but doesn’t skimp on accuracy, which is kind of their thing.
“There is one other major competition for MobiCuff in Canada. However, we were able to come out ahead of this company with the iOximeter and look forward to doing the same with MobiCuff.”
Like any worthwhile idea, if it makes sense, people will invest in it. Some people already have, and it won’t be long before you can too.
“Bart Foster, founder of Solo Health, suggested that not only can we sell the MobiCuff as a full smart phone system with arm cuff. We can also sell just the adapter so it can be used to retrofit existing blood pressure monitors to a smart phone. Thus we will sell both varieties as we prepare to launch our device on Indiegogo in the beginning of February.”
“We are currently enrolled in an accelerator program called Neurolaunch. The gamification elements of the Mobicuff app were developed in partnership with expert neuroscientists and gamers. We have greatly benefitted from our mentors including Art Spalding, Chris Klaus, and Prof, Gari Clifford at Emory.”
[photo credit: Hypepotamus]