UK neonatal start-up among UNICEF ‘Wearables for Good’ finalists

Tech start-up WAAA! is competing to win $15,000 and mentoring for initiative which looks to develop wearable devices to help world's most vulnerable

A UK start-up which has created a neonatal health surveillance tool, WAAA!, is among 10 finalists chosen for UNICEF’s global Wearables for Good competition which aims to develop wearable devices capable of helping the world’s most vulnerable people.

Launched in May this year in partnership with ARM and frog, 250 ideas were submitted from individuals and team across 46 countries. The next phase of the competition will see the finalists develop their concepts into working prototypes, with coaching from experts in the fields.

Two overall winners will be announced in November and will each receive $15,000, incubation and mentoring from the partners.

The 10 Wearables for Good finalists are:

  • WAAA! –  British sensor-based neonatal health surveillance tool
  • CommunicAID – US company that develops a bracelet to track medication treatment
  • Droplet – Water purification device worn on the wrist from the US
  • Guard Band – Vietnamese wristband that protects children from child abuse
  • Khushi Baby – Joint US and India-based necklace to track a child’s immunisation in their first two years of life
  • Raksh – Indian in-ear device to monitor children’s respiration rate, hear rate, temperature and breath humidity 
  • Soapen – and US interactive crayon-style device that encourages young children to wash their hands
  • Telescrypts – East African and US wearable device that takes the wearer’s vitals and sends the data to health care workers
  • TermoTell – Bracelet that monitors and analyses the temperature of children at risk of malaria from Nigeria and the US
  • Totem Open Health Patch – Dutch sensor-based device that is connected to a wider Totem Open Health system for wearable health technology

Erica Kochi, co-lead and co-founder of UNICEF Innovation, commented: “The ideas from the 10 finalists demonstrate how wearable technology can be applied in resource-constrained environments, creating viable business opportunities for the technology sector in developing markets.

“We’re excited to review the finalists’ refined ideas over the coming months to pick two that have the potential to improve the lives of women and children at a national or global scale.”

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