MobiHealthNews: Can digital health help crack one of healthcare's hardest nuts?
Taking medication everyday is hard to do
We know this from our own lives and those of our family. Even though we understand (usually) why it's important to take our medicine, sometimes we choose not to because we're feeling better or because it makes us feel worse, and sometimes we just forget.
To help us and our loved ones to take medicine as prescribed, we have created the uBox
The uBox is a smart pillbox that you can program with your schedule and use to keep your medicine safe.
Not only does the uBox remind you to take your medicine, it also records what time you take it so that you can see how you're doing. Most people don't realize how many doses they miss because we usually only think about the last few days' worth. But when you can see the whole month at a time, it can be surprising how many haven't been taken. Being able to see how well you're doing gives valuable feedback and can help you stay on course.
The uBox also gives you the choice of sharing your schedule with your family and your doctor, so that they may celebrate with you when you're doing well and encourage you when it gets hard.
Others care about your health too - let them help you
Whether you know it or not, you are surrounded by people who want you to be healthy. With support from your loved ones, it's a lot easier to stick to your resolve to take every dose, but they can't help if they don't know that you've decided not to take your medicine.
With the uBox, you control who gets notifications, and when. Once you enter the other person's phone number or email, they will receive a notice from us saying that you would like to share your care with them. They confirm that they are willing to receive the messages, and you're all set!
If you'd like to learn more about how the uBox works, please visit our website, my uBox.
Why are we on Indiegogo?
We've spent the last 3 years bootstrapping the development of the uBox with our personal resources and time, and have poured our souls into creating something we think will really change the world. With the uBox designed, tested, and even set up for manufacturing (in the USA!), we're very close pushing the big GO button. We need your help to get to the next step!
Indiegogo helps us in two ways -- the easy one, that allows us to place orders, meet minimum order requirements, and ship uBoxes, but also the hard one, that proves that people like you want to use the uBox.
What else are we trying to do?
There are a lot of people around the world who could use a device like the uBox, but not all of them can afford it. We are committed to working with non-profits who help others -- such as Innovators In Health who help treat tuberculosis patients in India -- to improve as many lives as we can in our small way. You can help too! We have created reward options that will allow us to give a uBox to one of the non-profits that we have a relationship with so that they can help their patients.
Other organizations we are working with include:
San Francisco Department of Public Health, working with low-income populations being treated for mental health disorders, HIV, TB, or Hepatits C.
Innovators In Health, working in India to treat tuberculosis.
and we are in talks more partners, both in the US and internationally. If you know an organization who would benefit from the uBox, please let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org!
So whether you would like to help yourself, a family member, or a non-profit, please consider contributing to help us make a difference!
Continuing forward with your help
While we designed the uBox to be as seamless and easy to use as possible for the end user, it is truly a complex merging of technology: firmware, hardware, plastics, mobile apps, and software. Fortunately, we both have a decade of experience getting working products out the door.
This is not to say that it’s been easy. 11 PCB revisions, 16 firmware revisions, 5 plastic revisions, and 3 software revisions later, we've got most of the kinks worked out of the system.
Manufacturing is already set up in the USA, with our plastics made in Connecticut, our boards spun in Colorado, and our final assembly done in Illinois. With most of our setup costs out of the way, we have some packaging and some mobile programming left to do. We are confident that we can knock these out in the next few months with your support.
And of course we greatly welcome the usual issues of order fulfillment and inventory management.
We are looking to raise $20,000 in order to produce and ship uBoxes, finish developing our smartphone application, and deal with the other nitty-gritty details associated with getting a fantastic product out the door and into your hands. Every amount helps us get closer to improving peoples' health around the world, and for that we thank you from the bottom of our hearts.
Who are we, and how do we know we can make this work?
Sara is a mechanical engineer from UC Berkeley and MIT who is passionate about product design that helps people. She also loves robots, breakdancing, and beer. She has quite a few patents, and has also worked on a non-invasive glucose meter and innovative mobility devices. Her background in usability, design, and manufacturing help her make the uBox something that people love to use every day.
View her LinkedIn profile to learn more.
"Greddy" is a hacker from MIT. Whether it's robotic prosthetic legs, improved surgical devices, or low-tech ways to cast amputee stumps, his passion is in applying technology to improving peoples' lives. He codes mobile apps and designs circuits, but you'll also find him swallowing a bunch of water on a windy day (i.e. learning to kitesurf).
View his LinkedIn profile too.
We have been working together for over 9 years on a variety of projects, including the past five years on the uBox. We are dedicated to seeing this product become a success, and we are certainly in it for the long haul! If you'd like to help us keep going, please consider supporting us by opting for one of the perks to the right, and sharing our page with your friends.
Update: what the t-shirt for the $25 perk looks like --