An Innovation Insight
UnaliWear Enables Independence for Vulnerable Populations
Posted on December 13, 2017
GuideWell Innovation is proud to feature the story of our inaugural Health+Accel pitch competition winner, UnaliWear, and its CEO and founder, Jean Anne Booth.
It’s trite but true: necessity is the mother of invention. For Jean Anne Booth, the necessity was her aging mother’s desire to be fully independent, yet her mom was a 79 year-old woman living alone and at risk for all those things we worry about for our vulnerable loved ones: falls, forgetting to take their medications, and getting lost during errands. Jean Anne’s mom would not even consider wearing one of the ugly and socially stigmatizing wearable alerts that have been around for so long, and didn’t have a smart phone. What to do when you want to enable your mom’s independence but need her to be safe at the same time? If you’re a seasoned entrepreneur with experience with semiconductors, you build a solution. That’s precisely what Jean Anne did with her team at UnaliWear, the company that created the Kanega watch.
Shortly after our Health+Accel competition, we caught up with Jean Anne at the 2017 Exponential Medicine conference where she demonstrated the voice-activated, button-free device. She also shared that it was in testing with other independent, but vulnerable populations, including those with MS, Parkinson’s disease, Down Syndrome, epilepsy and more.
With many start-ups, it’s common to see entrepreneurs fall in love with the technology and forget to focus on the problems that need to be solved. Jean Anne won our Health+Accel pitch competition this November because her users’ dignity, as much as their problems, guided the design of her solution. It’s a mindset we believe is worth emulating.
At GuideWell Innovation, we’re driven to help people and communities achieve better health by delivering innovative health solutions to market. We invite you to join our health innovation ecosystem to remain informed of industry trends, receive critical insights and find opportunities to engage with people equally committed to making health care better.