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SmartWalk™: Social Media-Enabled Devices for Affordable Senior Safety

by Mazy Holiday

SmartWalk devices use social media to send fall and Alzheimer'sAlerts™ with GPS through texting, Facebook and NextDoor keeping seniors safe at no monthly cost.
Birmingham, AL United States Wearables Medical Device Alzheimer(s) Disease MedStartr Ventures challenge

All Team Company Patients Physicians Hospital Partners Mission Innovation Details Supporters Comments Updates

About our project

The problem we solve: Did you know that falls are the #1 cause of injury related death for seniors? Current solutions come with an expensive subscription, contracts, use only one mode of connectivity (phoning a call-center), are aesthetically unattractive and are therefore frequently abandoned. The products are not designed well, and have not improved with technology. Therefore, offering them at a high price and an on-going expense makes the product even less likely to actually be used. Many attempts have been made over the years to reduce the risk of falls and keep Alzheimer's sufferers safe who wander, but most have failed due to a lack of vision and an understanding of age-related issues.

About our solution: SmartWalk devices/wearables use social media networks through the user's smartphone to connect them to their existing Facebook friends, neighbors, and Contacts. With social media notifications + texts for Falls and Alzheimer'sAlerts™ with GPS location eliminates the need for a call center with contracts and subscriptions. A much larger network of caregivers can receive immediate notifications regarding the event, the location of the event and can respond accordingly through the mobile app. SmartWalk also alerts the user when their smartphone and device have lost Bluetooth connection. SmartWalk's mobile app has a dashboard with user activity, a Group Texting feature, a 911 call button, and a cancel feature. It will also generate revenue with sponsored, targeted "Storytelling-style" News.

Progress to date:

The first SmartWalk product will be the walking cane. We have completed the first round of working prototypes; our cane has a flexible shaft for joint relief; the spring in the shaft provides minimal movement, just enough to cushion the elbow and shoulder reducing the risk of repetitive injury. Our final cane prototype will be a production ready model that can be sold with or without SmartWalk installed opening up the cane to 2 separeate markets and 2 revenue streams in one product.

Our projection for completion of the cane only (the iStand cane) is November 2017.  The SmartWalk system and mobile app may be completed, contengent on investment, by early 2018. We intend for SmartWalk to become the gold standard for senior safety by making a range of SmartWalk wearables and devices such as a hearing aid, reading glasses and even clothing. 

About Our Team

Creator: Mazy Holiday

Location: Alabama

Education: School of Visual Arts

Bio: After an MFA in sculpture one would assume that a teaching career at a university was my next move. But, I continued to make sculpture while earning a living as a freelance sole proprietor running a catering business and doing websites, writing web content on the side. In 2006 I began having some joint pain and by 2009 there were days when I could not walk at all. I decided to design a walking cane that I could use specific to my needs. That was the beginning of SmartWalk, and as technology has advanced so quickly, so has SmartWalk. I drew the first design of the cane in 2009, and in 2012 I started working full-time on building a comprehensive falls prevention program to accompany the devices and wearables that SmartWalk entails. In 2013 we launched the iStand Falls Prevention mobile app and website as I continued to develop SmartWalk, the firmware, the code, and what would make SmartWalk different from all the other medical alert products. As I was working on that, I had other ideas I thought were worth market testing, so I formed a product design company in order to make all of my ideas into reality. So far, so good.

Hospital Affiliation: N/A

Title: President

Advanced Degree(s): MFA

About Our Company

WhatBox Product Design Company

Location: 626 34th St S
Birmingham, AL 35222

Founded: 2016



Twitter: @istandfit


Other link:

Other link:

Product Stage: Prototype/MVP

YTD Sales: Less than $250,000

Employees: 5-10

How We Help Patients

How We Help Physicians

After speaking to many physicians and physical therapists, many are frustrated that their fall prevention advice frequently goes unnoticed and unheeded. Implementing a system into their medical institutions that is affordable, attractive and works with your existing bluetooth technology could make the impact in the falls and dementia epidemic that is so greatly needed as the senior population grows. 

Current solutions like RF chip Wander Guards are limited to only locating a patient and is connected to a separate base system. These chips also do not detect falls.  SmartWalk can alert the main computer through bluetooth of a fall and/or a lost patient.  It can also connect to iPads, iPhones or other mobile devices carried by their nurses, family or other caregivers if this was called for according to the indiviual or situation.



How We Help Hospitals

SmartWalk devices and wearables are the perfect addition to medical institutions that seek a solution to patients falling from hospital beds, and in slippery hall ways as they navigate hospital corridors, and how that affects their liability issues as well as endangering the health of their patients.  Institutions that have existing bluetooth capability to monitor patients already have in place the primary component that SmartWalk uses to communicate.  A SmartWalk device linked to a particular patients room could send an alert to the front desk should the patient experience either a possible fall, or if the patient has wandered from the unit entirely. SmartWalk could be a critical and affordable solution that institutions have been waiting for in order to truly execute the highest quality of patient care.

How We Help Partners

Retail Partners

A challenge you face with older customers is explaining new technology or new products that could help them in the long run. Also, the senior demographic is generally on a budget, and keeping products on the shelf they can afford is another hurdle.  SmartWalk devices and wearables address key issues that your older customers face every day, like cost, age-related stigmas, and seniors who suffer falls, dementia, or both.  With no monthly subscription, SmartWalk devices can be sold directly to the customer with no follow up. And, we offer a free, Skype demonstration to your staff of how SmartWalk works so you can easily help customers understand how these devices can benefit them.  With all the features SmartWalk has to offer your customer base, carrying these products in your store can not only increase your bottom line, but show you and your company care about the fastest growing demographic in America.

Medical Institution Partners

Without a affordable, successful solution to patients who fall or get lost in your facilities, these incidents hurt both the patient, your bottom line, and your reputation. SmartWalk devices and wearables offer the only effective way to reduce more serious injuries to your patients by alerting you and your staff to a potential incident automatically, and without a subscription.  SmartWalk works with your existing bluetooth capabilities that you use everyday, and sends alerts regarding a potential fall or if a dementia patient has wandered from their unit using GPS location. All alerts come with the patients GPS location so you can find patients quickly. Partner with SmartWalk, and solve these issues that could become more than just a one-time accident.

Business to Business

One of the issues that large corporations face is just that, they are very large. And often times, innovation is the first subject to be lost in everyday operations. You are so busy doing business that you forgot how you got started. Partnering with start-ups that have developed new technology can be a way to remind customers who may have forgotten household names like Johnson & Johnson, and rebuild a relationship that reminds the customer why you are still in the game. Partnering with an innovative technology company that has like minded goals for their customers (like saving them money, keeping them safe, etc.) can bring new life to an old name, and keep that flame lit for generations to come. 

Innovation Details

Intellectual Property Summary

We have filed for both a trademark for SmartWalk, Alzheimer'sAlerts, and MapBlasting (all pending) and a provisional patent (62/506,917) covering SmartWalk's functionality of both firmware and the mobile app siting its key differences from other medical alert products. 

Clinical Information

We have accomplished proof of concept with the fall detection aspect of SmartWalk and have completed and tested SmartWalk code using the walking cane as our initial SmartWalk device.  We have not executed any clinical studies at this time. We are seeking investment and mentorship to help us navigate FDA requirements for the cane as well as future SmartWalk wearables and devices. We have held informal focus groups and kept a regular social media presence with a significant following, and gotten a positive reponse from local and international industry experts like orthapedic surgeons, nurses and retirement home executives. The response from potential customers is overwhelmingly positive. 

Regulatory Status

Our first product, the iStand walking cane (no SmartWalk), is a Class I device and we plan to file for this approval mid to late July.  The SmartWalk walking cane, in addition to FDA approval, will need to endure patient testing which includes mobile app testing for user-friendly features for seniors. i.e. can seniors download, pair the device, and use features easily. Can seniors charge a SmartWalk device, and understand it's functions and benefits with little instruction? These are all hurdles and milestones yet to be overcome, and we intend to use our first round of funding to complete these final steps in order to launch SmartWalk by early next year.

How we will use the funds raised

Our prototype partner, Difinitive Designs in Langhorne, PA, has quoted 121,000 for completion of SmartWalk firmware and mobile application which has consideral functionality requirements.  FDA approval is expected to be 100,000. Manufacturing startup with tooling and material costs for both SmartWalk firmware, the iStand Walking Cane, and the SmartWalk Walking Cane have yet to be determined, but we hope to identify a manufacturing partner first in China. If traction is as we expect, we can consider the potential benefits and tax breaks of producing or assembling SmartWalk in the US. We have funded SmartWalk exclusively with private funding save for winning a Small Business Championship contest sponsored by Sam's Club and SCORE.  As SmartWalk gains traction, any unused funding will be appropriated towards development of other SmartWalk devices and wearables such as the hearing aid, fitness bands, eye glasses. watches/jewelry, and even clothing. Whatever it takes to launch SmartWalk in the US, we will fund with private capital until we have secured outside funding from equity crowdfunding, VC funding, or an equity partner.

Thank You

I've been building things since I was a kid. Well into college, I built sculptures that I saw in dreams, or practical objects that I deemed personally useful at the time.  Being able to build something that might improve lives while building a successful company is even better. I started this company because I think we can create products that are designed markedly better, fashionable, affordable, and support the idea of putting sustainability at the forefront of mass production. Rarely do you see consumer products that incorporate all these features while exhibiting remarkably vision and creativity. It is possible and we are proving it more and more each day. 

Each product we have, either on the shelf or in development, is making a difference in people's lives, some are small and some significant. But, either way we intend to be the gold standard for products that meet each of these requirements in order to make a meaningful impact in our industry.



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Mazy Holiday
School of Visual Arts

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