GeckoCap Connects Asthma Inhalers to the Internet and Makes it Fun!
1. A Seamless Connection
GeckoCap is a new holistic system that combines a connected device with rewards to improve behavior and help monitor medication use. We help families, their children, and caregivers connect in one place through our unique and beautiful hardware and online application.
2. An Intuitive Solution for Families and Children
GeckoCap is a small glowing smart button that can easily be attached to any asthma inhaler, and it will glow when the next dose is due. The system is designed to be fun, colorful, and durable, and considers children in different age groups. The batteries last longer than 9 months without charging, and there are no cables required for syncing; our goal was to minimize the common hassles of everyday devices.
3. Simple Monitoring and Reminders
Thanks to GeckoCap’s mobile technology, you can easily monitor your child’s medication usage. The notification system lets you know when an inhaler was used, or when an inhaler is running low. Data is securely stored on the cloud, meaning you can access your child’s information anywhere and share access with whoever you choose (and even send it to your provider).
4. Empower Children and Promote Healthy Habits
GeckoCap has a unique software reward system that gets users involved in their own medication management. Parents can set goals and give prizes via GeckoCap’s interface to encourage healthy habits and increase awareness of triggers that cause asthma attacks.
(NEW) Fast Company: MIT Builds An Open-Source Platform For Your Body
Wall Street Journal Market Watch: 10 quirkiest gadgets of CES. GeckoCap seems like a smart investment to limit asthma attacks
The Huffington Post: Best Gadgets Of CES 2013
Nibletz.com: GeckoCap Is Gamifying The Asthma Inhaler
The Boston Globe: One of the 10 coolest companies to come out of New England
(NEW) Tech Cocktail: GeckoCap, Making Inhalers High-Tech
(NEW) Vector, Boston Children's Hospital: GeckoCap. How industry networking can help a start-up
Well Connected Mom: The GeckoCap looks like an incredible help for parents with asthmatic children
Med Tech Index: GeckoCap, контроль использования ингаляторов астматиками
The Angry Asthma Mama: Meet GeckoCap, The Newest, Coolest Tool for Asthma Compliance
New Media Medicine: GeckoCap, a Health and Wellness Innovation 2012 Spin-off, is Gaining Momentum
- Durability: Water resistant and designed to be handled by excitable children.
- Software: Web application will be available online at time of launch.
- Size: Final dimensions to be determined, but the diameter will be about the same as the diameter of an inhaler, and the height will be under an inch.
- Battery: Coin cell battery that lasts at least 8 months.
Despite the availability of effective medication, asthma remains the most prevalent chronic disease among children with nearly 10 million pediatric cases in the US alone. Over half of asthmatic children don’t take their medications regularly, which leads to poor quality of life, unnecessary medical care, and high system-wide healthcare costs. Asthma accounts for roughly 200 thousand pediatric hospitalizations per year in the US, at a cost of over $2 billion.
Inhaled maintenance medications (corticosteroids) can effectively control asthma symptoms. However, non-adherence to treatment can result in unnecessary exacerbations, repeating symptoms, and even a visit to the ER.
GeckoCap was created by parents, engineers and physicians. We have personal and professional experience with pediatric asthma. We know what it is like to treat and care for children.
Most of us come from the east side of MIT. Our original team was formed out of a Health and Wellness Innovation event at the MIT Media Lab where we won the 1st prize, and since then we have successfully brought in passionate people and engaged a senior group of advisors.
We have come a long way in the last 9 months. We were chosen as one of the coolest startups by the Boston Globe, and we were awarded one of 10 spots in Healthbox, an accelerator program funded in part by Blue Cross Blue Shield. Most recently, we were sponsored to present at the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas through a partnership with Startup America.
The original founder, Yechiel Engelhard, is a doctor and an entrepreneur. He has treated children, listened to their stories, and heard the concerns of their parents. He saw firsthand that the best way to get children to follow their treatment is to get them invested in it.
Yechiel spent 7 years as a practicing physician, led medical teams, and was responsible for evaluation and implementation of new medical technologies. He has co-founded and worked with multiple medical and healthcare ventures in Israel and in the US. Yechiel has a Medical Doctorate ('03) and a Masters in Health Administration ('10) from the Ben-Gurion University, and an MBA from MIT Sloan ('12).
The second co-founder, Mark Maalouf, came from his own MIT startup where he was working on an innovative sports analytics solution. He received both a bachelor’s degree ('02) and a master's degree ('05) in Electrical Engineering from McGill University in Montreal, where he focused on hardware design, telecommunications, numerical methods, and software design.
Mark then spent 5 years at Microsoft in Redmond, Washington working on enterprise software, first as a developer and then as an engineering manager. He left Microsoft in 2010 to earn his MBA from MIT Sloan ('12), with a focus on entrepreneurship.
Our team of founders is complemented by a diverse group of people from different backgrounds, such as a talented user experience professional who designed the beautiful user interface system after speaking with parents and children. Several software engineers from the Cambridge area around MIT built the application. We worked with industrial designers and engineers to design the hardware in the cap and the real world experience.
We also benefited from the experience of several experts involved in areas such as founding companies, designing products for children and products that improve the use of drugs, medical devices, and consumer electronics. We have also worked with physicians from leading institutions who are all excited about the product.
Why Crowed Funding?
We've already built working prototypes, but we need your help to take the next step: we’re looking for funds to design the final version and put GeckoCap into production.
You want to know exactly how we are going to use your money, so here it is:
- Final hardware design and testing - We are going to make it sleeker and cooler than what you see in our existing prototypes. Colors will vary as well.
- Finalize the 3rd iteration of the software.
- Improve the user experience with more challenges and options for rewards.
- Regulations - it costs money to certify hardware, particularly when children are involved.
- Manufacturing capabilities - we hope to manufacture most of the product in the US.
- Packaging, shipping, and logistics - we want to make your experience perfect.
We chose the non-flexible Indiegogo contribution method, so we will only accept your contributions if we reach our funding goal. We don’t want to take your money if we are not confident in our success!
How does the system work?
The GeckoCap records every time it is pressed along with the inhaler, and saves this data until it is in range with a smart-device. When in range, it automatically and securely transmits the information to our cloud system. This means that an inhaler with a GeckoCap can stay in a child’s pockets or backpack, and the child or caregivers don’t need to worry about syncing. This makes GeckoCap an ideal solution even for kids who travel between multiple homes. The cap is also programmable through our web interface to set the reminder schedule.
My child has multiple maintenance and rescue inhalers. Can we still use the GeckoCap?
Absolutely! Our system is designed to work with multiple different types of inhalers. Each cap has a unique ID, and it is linked with a specific prescription through our web interface. This means that you can easily distinguish between when your child is following their normal maintenance schedule, and when they are using their rescue inhaler during attacks.
Does GeckoCap work with other types of inhalers (such as Dry powder inhaler)?
At the present time, the GeckoCap is compatible with and easily attached to MDIs (Metered Dose Inhalers). It does not currently attach to other inhalers such as powder inhalers, but we are investigating this capability for our next design.
What makes our system different
GeckoCap makes remembering to use your inhaler intuitive and fun, even in the absence of symptoms. Our ‘smart button’ can be easily applied to any inhaler and glows on schedule as a reminder for the child. Every use is recorded and transmitted to the cloud where the data can be analyzed to further improve care. Children are encouraged to self-manage their asthma through games, goals, and rewards that are geared toward their specific adherence challenges.