A Technological Step Forward for Seniors
Each month the James J. Hill Center interviews 1 Million Cup presenters for the Startup Showcase feature in the Pioneer Press. Recently we connected with presenter Peter Chamberlin. See interview as seen in the Pioneer Press Startup Showcase originally posted on March 24, 2017.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention every second of every day an older adult falls, making falls the No. 1 cause of injuries and deaths among older Americans.
With more than 10,000 older Americans turning 65 each day, the number of fall-related injuries and deaths is expected to surge. Physical therapists and other health care professionals have very little information about a patient’s everyday life, which doesn’t allow for proper assessment of treatment and demonstration of improvement.
Families are also constantly worried about their loved ones living at home. Peter Chamberlain was one of those family members and wanted to ensure his grandparents lived a healthier and longer life. The creation of WalkSmart was the best step to making that mission real. Since 2016 he has been working to help provide peace of mind to generations.
Name: Peter Chamberlain
City you live in: Grand Forks, N.D.
City of birth: Salem, Ore.
High school attended: South Salem High School
College attended: Undergrad: The University of Portland; Graduate: Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
Name of company: WalkSmart
Business Start Date: March 2016
Number of Employees: 1
Number of Customers: 5
Q. What led to this point?
A. As an engineer, I have always been fascinated by how technology and innovation can solve some of the world’s toughest challenges. Every project I’ve done has been has focused on helping people, whether it was building the world’s first Hyperloop pod for fast transportation, designing a medical device to keep kids from getting hypothermia during Jaundice treatment, or starting the MIT Water Innovation Prize to reward those with innovation solutions. I saw a way that I could help my grandparents with new technology, and I took the leap.
Q. What is your business?
A. WalkSmart is about helping people maintain their independence and saving lives. People who use walkers are one of our most vulnerable and costly populations, yet few innovations have succeeded in reducing falls and improving care collaboration. With proper design and market focus, I think this can change.
WalkSmart is the world’s first smart walker attachment. It monitors motion throughout the day and night without the need for charging, (like) a smartphone, or a wearable, eliminating many of the adherence issues faced by existing devices. The device acts as a traditional fitness tracker, but it also alerts families and caregivers when a person may have fallen, had a stroke, or have a urinary tract infection. The implications for therapy, home care, and senior living are massive…READ FULL ARTICLE
You can hear from startups like this one each Wednesday, 9-10 a.m. at the James J. Hill Center during 1 Million Cups St. Paul. The James J. Hill Center is a nonprofit in downtown St. Paul that provides access to business research, educational programming and a place to work. The Hill is open to the public 8AM – 4PM, Monday-Thursday. To keep updated on what startup is presenting next or to apply to present, visit www.jjhill.org.