Best Projects 2019 features all the nominated entries submitted ‘Submit your Project’ category. All the entries consist of innovative projects run by existing enterprises in the form of businesses, NGOs or informal programs.
Up! - Intelligent Fall Prevention Companion
Explain your project in details:
Up! seeks to tackle the issue of the inadequate human support by automating the caretaking process. Our solution an intelligent fall prevention companion seeks to revolutionize fall prevention in elderly communities through early intervention techniques. Our easy and fun-to-use product continuously monitors the patient's stability and offers prescriptive mobility training. The product itself is a robot-pet equipped with a depth camera that automatically follows the patient at home with the help of LiDAR. Using data collected by the depth camera, it applies AI-powered skeletal tracking algorithms to instantaneously assess the frequency and nature of unstable motions. Only the skeletal body model is saved into our system, ensuring the privacy of the patient. Family members are updated on the patient's status through an app, while proactive calls are triggered to emergency services for severe events. It then guides patients to do exercises by demonstrating movements specifically catered to their weaknesses. This preemptive strategy to fall prevention aids the patient in strengthening their weakest muscles, thus reducing the probability of falling due to instability. The product is accompanied by an app that allows family members and physicians to remotely access the data collected by the robot-pet. Families are alerted on the location and time of falls, who may address potential risks by making changes to the elderly's home. On the other hand, skeletal tracking data and posture analysis of the patient is available to the physician through the app, who may use the data to provide pinpoint diagnoses and customized treatment.
Impact of your enterprise on sustainable development
Up's solution has earned initial validation by winning the Grand Prize of the inaugural MIT HealthHACK Hong Kong competition. At this stage, we have built a prototype of the robot-pet using the TurtleBot3 robot kit that can autonomously follow the patient and record skeletal tracking data using the RealSense depth camera equipped on it, powered by the Nuitrack software. It can also detect falls instantaneously through an algorithm we devised. We have been invited by, and are currently in discussion with, Hong Kong Science & Technology Park (HKSTP) and Cyberport to join their initiatives supporting start-up organizations. We are also in discussion with the Hong Kong University of Science & Technology (HKUST) for technical collaboration on gait analysis.
Sustainability and future plans
We plan to obtain funding by applying to incubation programs, such as the Innovation and Technology Fund (ITF) of Hong Kong, the Incu-Bio and Incu-Tech programs of the Hong Kong Science and Technology Park, and the Cyberport Incubation program. We will invest the prize money into Up!. As we are developing our product, we will work with medical practitioners to further refine our product. We will also allow them to use our product for free in the pilot stage. Afterwards, they can help us promote our products to the elderly and their families. Our target is to price our robot-pet at US$5000. Each minor fall costs over US$1000 in medical fees, while major falls cost over US$10000. As a third of the elderly population suffer from at least a fall each year, our product can save the elderly over US$3000 in 9 years. As the human lifespan continues to increase, we project that our product will be able to reduce medical spending of our customers by much more. As a comparison, wheelchairs, a popular solution to prevent falls, cost only US$2000, yet confine the elderly to the chair and vastly restrict their movement. We plan to sell our product to consumers in Hong Kong at the early stages to gain recognition in the healthcare community. We will then expand our market to China and the US, before launching our product worldwide. We estimate that we can penetrate 0.01% of the elderly market within 5 years.
Your profile as an entrepreneur
Bryan Ho is a current sophomore at Northfield Mount Hermon School, MA. His unwavering passion in 3D computer-aided-design and software engineering originated from his invaluable experiences at the CIS MIT STEAM Camp and the MIT 2019 Hong Kong HealthHack. Having a growth mindset and an unquenchable hunger for success, he has everything it takes to propel Up!'s concept into a whole new level. Bryan led Up! to win the grandprize in the MIT 2019 Hong Kong HealthHack.