For finalists Dr. Ammu Susheela and Charles Clarke, this year’s Wearables in Healthcare Pilot Challenge is all about ELAINE – Electronic Locating Automated Interactive Nuance Equipment.
“ELAINE is a wearable device that will help people with Alzheimer’s and dementia to be able to stay on track and keep a schedule for the day,” the finalists said in an email. Clarke is an undergraduate student and certified EMT who is completing pre-med work this summer at Harvard University. Susheela is a physician and post-doc research fellow in cardiology in Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.
“Along with a GPS that can be located with a smart phone or computer, ELAINE has an automated voice-recording that can be set to a custom schedule pertaining to the individual that is wearing it,” the finalists explained. “This would empower them to be more self-aware, independent and motivate them to cultivate an organized life style.”
Susheela and Clarke also highlighted the fact that a virtual perimeter can be set up on the ELAINE application, which will use Nuance’s voice recognition software, to serve as a warning system for wandering. It could also be of wider assistance to anyone who needs a second voice to stay on task.
As with many of our finalists, Susheela and Clarke’s idea was inspired by issues close to both of their hearts. “We both have grandparents who suffered from Alzheimer’s,” they wrote, “so we have grown up seeing that. Incidentally, when we came to Boston, a very dear friend of ours in Boston has dementia. From observing and being with them, we were inspired to create an idea of a device that could help them to cope with their daily struggles and give them a sense of empowerment.”
Susheela and Clarke will be pitching against nine other teams this Thursday night at Google Cambridge in hopes of winning the Grand Prize. They’re excited about promoting their idea at the event, and they’re also looking forward to inspiration from fellow innovators and investors.
“Being a physician and a health care worker we are big supporters of innovation in health care,” they said. “Being in Boston, we have had many exciting experiences, but visiting the Google campus will be first of its kind.”
You can also register for our first ever MedTALK Boston Networking Night, on May 13th, for similar conversation and collaboration.
Jenni Whalen is the Executive Assistant of Editorial at Upworthy. She was previously MedTech Boston's Managing Editor and has an MS in Journalism from Boston University, as well as a BA in Psychology from Bucknell University. Whalen has written for Greatist, Boston magazine, AZ Central Healthy Living and the New England Journal of Medicine, among other places. She has also worked as a conference planner, ghost writer, researcher and content developer.
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