Crowd-Funded Asthma Inhaler Sets Out to Make Pediatric Asthma Therapy Funby Guest Author on Jan 22, 2013 • 12:55 pm
This is a guest post by Ido Weinberg, vascular medicine fellow at the Massachusetts General Hospital (Harvard Medical School) , triathlete, marathon runner and tech aficionado. Ido also writes at www.angiologist.com. Follow him on Twitter at @Angiologist.
Asthma is a controllable disease, yet millions of children are hospitalized every year. Leading the trend towards self-management, GeckoCap, a unique, mobile-connected product created by a physician and engineer from MIT , presented last week at the International consumer Electronics Show in Las-Vegas.This Cambridge, MA based start-up company, follows the approach of empowering patients, especially children. The idea is to have children feel they are playing a game while they are actually being treated better.
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“Children with chronic diseases don’t have a good solution that speaks their language or that gives them tools to help them understand their treatment,” said the founder, Dr. Yechiel Engelhard, “GeckoCap takes this approach to combine a sleek cap, which fits on top of inhalers, with an online and mobile app”. The cap provides glowing reminders and monitors usage, while the app sends alerts and offers incentives for good behavior. The device relies on Bluetooth Smart technology to allow for several months of battery life.
GeckoCap’s monitoring capability connects to a gamification platform that encourages and teaches children to self-manage their asthma. The notification system updates caregivers on when the inhaler prescription might need to be refilled, and data is securely transmitted and stored in the cloud. Parents and doctors can monitor usage from phones, tablets, or computers.
The only way to pre-order a GeckoCap right now is through Indiegogo crowedfunding campaign.