|Startup bridges tech with health
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|Author:||mgreenspan [ Tue Jul 31, 2018 8:05 am ]|
|Post subject:||Startup bridges tech with health|
When someone is suffering a severe allergic reaction, communicating his or her needs to a 911 dispatcher is a difficult task.
One Washington State University student and his team are hoping to change that with a new mobile app they are creating.
David Kurz, CEO of Epi-N, said someone suffering from anaphylaxis will experience swelling in the throat and face and begin losing motor functions. That makes it extremely difficult to communicate with a 911 dispatcher about how to find them, what condition they are in and whether epinephrine has been administered.
Epi-N will offer an app with what Kurz called a "beacon button," a big red button that will contact 911 over Wi-Fi or through text with a pre-recorded message and alert the person's emergency contacts.
Those with an epinephrine pen equipped with Bluetooth technology can use the app to send a notification to the pen that will give off a light and noise. If a person is separated from his or her pen, this will make it easier to find, he said.
"If you want a customized notice for when your pen expires, you can set that up in the app," he said.
Kurz said this is a crucial feature because many people who should do not always carry an EpiPen - 40 percent according to studies - and those that do often fail to realize the pen's shelf life has expired.
Kurz said 13 counties in Washington are equipped to handle 911 texts, but even counties without this capability have TTY devices for the deaf and hard of hearing callers, which Epi-N can access as well.
The seeds for Epi-N were planted in fall 2017 when Kurz's friend explained to him the challenges of managing his epinephrine. Kurz, who was looking for a business idea, was inspired to create Epi-N. In November, he and a team of students brought the idea of a mobile app to Startup Spokane, a competition where entrepreneurs pitch their business to judges.
"My pitch got voted No.1," he said.
From there he formed a team and began working on the project. In the spring, he joined the WSU I-Corps program, which helps develop business models, and he has competed in several other business challenges, including the Palouse's Be The Entrepreneur Bootcamp in June. During the spring, the Amazon Catalyst program awarded Epi-N $5,000 in grant money.
"It's really gone a lot further than I would have predicted," he said of his company's progress.
Kurz said they want to start beta-testing Epi-N at the end of the year and launch their product in March.
He said they are also conducting interviews with local schools and schools in western Washington about problems they have with managing Epi-Pens for their students. He said schools may have problems finding pens in emergency situations and having enough pens available. He said Epi-N is working on developing a desktop application to help them solve their epinephrine challenges.
Kurz said he has received mostly positive feedback on his business, largely because most people know someone who has severe allergic reactions.
https://dnews.com/business/startup-brid ... a1f5d.html
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