Wear-Tech's MAHI, Safeguarding Our Loved Ones with High-Tech Solutions and User Simplicity

By David Thompson

Apr 03, 2024 09:41 PM EDT

Wear-Tech(Wear-Tech) (Credit: Getty Image)

The well-being of our loved ones often weighs heavy on our minds. For our vulnerable children and aging parents, we often feel helpless to protect them. Almost 40,000 adults aged 65 and up died in 2021 from preventable deaths. The cost to the healthcare system for those preventable deaths was upwards of $1.25 trillion, and worst of all, the unimaginable pain and grief that comes with knowing you might have been able to prevent it.

Wear-Tech's founder, Deepak Arora, knows firsthand the grief of losing a loved one. In a tragic accident, his daughter, Mahi, drowned near the family's home. Since then, Arora's mission has been to find a solution that would help at-risk populations stay safe, healthy, and independent while honoring his daughter's memory.

With over 25 years of experience in technology, including roles at HCL Technologies and IBM Watson Health, Arora's expertise has become the driving force behind Wear-Tech's innovative flagship product, MAHI Companion. It is a non-invasive wearable device that scans the environment and alerts one's care network of potential dangers such as falls, drowning, and other concerns. It is powered by Wear-Tech's groundbreaking, proprietary, and patent-published technology powered by their homegrown AI assistant, MAHI.AI.

From Tragedy to Innovation, from Children to the Elderly

Arora used his grief to inspire action and innovation. At first, the solution was geared towards children. Arora explains, "We did a study with the National Science Foundation and a local university at the Lubar's Entrepreneurship Center. They run a joint cohort called iCorp. What we did as part of that program was a comprehensive customer discovery. We realized quickly that out of the 50+ interviews we did, most people with toddlers were unwilling to put a device on their children. The mindset was, 'I can take care of my kids. Why do I need a device to tell me where they are?' That became a roadblock for us to go to market. Would it sell? Would it not sell?"

"What did become clear was the issue of caring for vulnerable elderly parents." Arora shares, "People we interviewed were overwhelmingly concerned for a parent who lives a couple states away, an hour away, or was in their own home across town. They were also worried about their parents in memory care, assisted living and independent living facilities. The idea that they could have their loved ones wear our device and be able to monitor them remotely and have it give them feedback gave them great peace of mind. We also learned that caregiver burnout is a real problem, and with our solution, they can live their lives and have more peace of mind with reassurance that our Digital Companion, MAHI, is there to protect their loved ones."

Simplicity as a Key

The shift toward the elderly market highlighted for Arora and his team the importance of simplicity in product design. Since then, it has become a principal deeply ingrained in Wear-Tech's ethos. In fact, the hallmark of Wear-Tech's products lies in their simplicity and accuracy. Arora explains, "We knew that with children and elderly people as our focus, ease of use was paramount. Unlike traditional wearable devices and lanyard solutions that often collect dust, Wear-Tech's solution seamlessly integrates into users' daily routines." From onboarding to everyday usage, the emphasis on simplicity ensures widespread adoption among users of all ages.

Arora asserts, "The elderly do not want anything extra in their life that they have to learn. They can't struggle with anything new if they have early stages of Dementia, Alzheimer's, or any other neurodivergent challenges. They don't grasp technology as quickly and shouldn't have to."

He adds, "Patients and residents we talked to were given high-tech watches with fancy screens, and most have them in their closets or drawers. They were given pendants, and they still sit on their nightstands. Nobody puts them on. So that was the biggest hurdle that we saw. Based on that discovery, we quickly realized it has to be as simple as one, two, three, and it must become part of their daily lifestyle."

He shares the story of one 94-year-old customer. "When we were onboarding, she asked me, 'What do I need to do?' And I said, 'Nothing. Put it on and forget about it. If you can put it on, that's your job.' And she said, 'Oh, it's like wearing clothes.' I said, 'Yes, that's it. Just put it on and you go about your daily life.'" Arora adds, "MAHI does everything else, knows all the hazards around you, protects you from anywhere, from everywhere, just by learning your patterns and running the AI locally."

MAHI Companion AI: Tech in Daily Life

Central to Wear-Tech's solution is MAHI Companion, an AI assistant powered by proprietary technology. The MAHI Companion AI serves as a vigilant guardian, leveraging Edge AI for local data processing and rapid detection of potential hazards. With features like predictive alerts, accurate fall detection, customizable MAHI zones, floor, door, and skin detection without needing extra sensors or beacons installed, users are empowered to lead safer, more independent lives while at the same time providing loved ones with peace of mind. 

Unique from other solutions, Wear-Tech's AI runs locally without the need for an internet connection. "The 'Edge AI,' as we call it, runs on the device locally, even if it isn't connected. It can detect everything and anything without sending data to the cloud and doing analysis passively."

Arora explains that competitors' technologies primarily conduct passive analysis, while MAHIi's data processing is done entirely on the device in real-time. With MAHI, they can achieve 5x faster response times, meaning much speedier detection times for events such as falls or geofencing breaches. In contrast, competitors may take up to a few minutes as they send data externally for processing.

Arora also highlights MAHI's data privacy and cybersecurity advantages: "It only sends data when necessary to notify caregivers of incidents, which makes it very secure."

Wear-Tech's Other Key Features

Wear-Tech's solution has hassle-free wander management and intuitive hazard mapping with their user-friendly mobile app. Arora notes, "So, the first level of defense happens as soon as the wearer opens the door, it alerts the caregiver or loved one. The second level of defense is geofencing. The virtual geofence can literally be drawn with your finger or pencil on a tablet or your phone. You don't need any tools or anything in our app. You just draw it wherever you want, any shape, any form and that protects your loved one."

"Our approach to managing 'wandering' differs greatly from other solutions. Normally, you'd install steel gates or sensors to prevent wandering, but with our solution, users only need our device. Our patent-pending technology detects when doors open within 10 seconds, so there's no need for an expensive door or gate installation."

The mobile app is currently in beta, and users need to register to download it, but very soon, it will be up and running. Arora shares, "Most people that have used it say it is by far the most world-class app they have used. We used a very lightweight approach so that anybody, the 94-year-old and her 53-year-old daughter, could onboard within ten minutes. As soon as her mom's device was onboarded, she could see exactly where her mom was and was very happy about it. Like I said, it is one, two, three, a piece of cake to set up for prevention and protection."

The hazard mapping technology on the app offers location tracking and identifies and maps various hazards, such as rail tracks and water bodies. Users can customize their hazard maps by marking new hazards, such as retention ponds, and set up virtual boundaries to receive alerts if a wearer leaves a designated area. The app's AI enables users to draw custom shapes for boundaries, a unique feature not found in other apps. This functionality is beneficial for institutions like assisted care, memory care, and independent living facilities. These institutions can customize their hazards to track as part of their emergency planning right within their app, making it seamless for the care providers to manage and track anyone wandering or getting closer to hazards.

MAHIi's predictive capabilities are the pièce de résistance of Wear-Tech's innovations, epitomizing Arora and his team's commitment to proactive and accurate safety measures. By analyzing user patterns and MAHI zones, Wear-Tech's solution can even anticipate potential hazards, and its audio-visual alerts ensure timely engagement with users and caregivers.

"We predict and map hazards, learning users' patterns over time. If a loved one, say a patient with Alzheimer's, deviates from their typical schedule and location, our Companion triggers an alert, notifies caregivers and ensures safety with audio and LED cues."

While the welfare of our cherished family members will probably never be far from our minds, Wear-Tech's simplistic approach, with its MAHI Companion and user-friendly app, will allow us to rest much easier.

For more information, visit Wear-Tech or MAHI.

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