One of the very first Design for America projects, SwipeSense has gone on to been named The Wall Street Journal’s Startup of the Year. Mert Iseri and Yuri Malina started with one goal: save the hundred thousand lives lost every year to hospital acquired infection. So far, they’ve managed to improve hand hygiene in hospitals by 64% with SwipeSense, which clips right onto a physician’s scrubs to provide a dose of hand sanitizer whenever and wherever they need it. In addition, the sensors in SwipeSense collect real time data to more efficiently prevent infections. Mert and Yuri actually got the idea for SwipeSense after playing a game of beach volleyball: they rubbed their hands against their pants to get the sand off and decided to utilize that intuitive action to increase handwashing in hospitals.
Luna Lights offers a preventative and predictive solutions for night-time fall safety. The team performed extensive user research with the Mather Lifeways community to gain a holistic understanding of the problem of falling. After realizing that ⅓ seniors call every year and that falls cause 2.2 million annual ER visits and are seniors leading cause of injury, Donovan Morrison, Matt Wilcox, and Wesley Youman came together to create a unique bed pad, lights and monitoring system to reduce call resis while allowing family members or caretakers to be more connected with those they care for.
Sponsor Project: GLIDE
For children with cerebral palsy, many simple tasks are huge obstacles to living a normal life. This team decided to tackle the problem of buckling their seat belts. Their solution is called Glide, an easy-to-locate seat belt buckling system that uses a funnel to guide the buckle into the slot.
How can we reward kids for healthy eating? Childhood obesity has been a growing problem over the last three decades. Currently about 17% of children ages 2-19 are obese, and one of the many contributing factors to this is that unhealthy foods such as chips, candies, and sugary cereals are heavily marketed to children, catching their attention and encouraging them to develop poor shopping habits at a young age. Fruit Buddi’s mission is to reduce childhood obesity by inspiring kids to eat healthy food. Their aim is to allow kids to interact with healthy food regularly, and to make these interactions more fun. They are recreating the experience of healthy eating habits in children and adults.
Jerry the Bear
Every year, 12,000 children in the US are diagnosed with type 1 diabetes and the number is growing. Jerry the Bear prepares children for the changes they will experience as he too has diabetes. Jerry makes learning fun! Kids take care of Jerry by feeding him a healthy diet and keeping his blood sugar level in a good range by counting carbs and matching insulin doses. When Jerry’s blood sugar level goes high or low, Jerry speaks his symptoms, encouraging kids to recognize how they feel! Jerry the Bear project has been continued by Hannah Chung and Aaron Horowitz. They found a startup company, Sproutel, and built over 29 different prototypes and tested with 350 kids before they shipped their first production run in Christmas of 2013. Not only they reached 4% of children newly diagnosed with type 1 diabetes and placed Jerry in 25% of Ped. Endo office rooms to date, they also launched a new Jerry the Bear to help all kids to be healthy and well.