This 12-year-old has designed an innovative wristband that reminds senior citizens to take medicines on time
Wearables are the present and the future, making lives easier with slick and timely innovations. Innovation comes from observation, which helps in identifying problems and coming up with solutions.
Aastha Mehta, a 12-year-old student of Cathedral and John Connon Middle School, Mumbai, has come up with an innovative solution for senior citizens to remind them to take their medicines on time.
In a conversation with HerStory, the pre-teen, who comes across as extremely confident and articulate, explains how it all began.
“On a Saturday afternoon I was brainstorming with my grandfather on finding possible solutions for relatable problems when I noticed some medicines on a table next to him. When I asked if he had taken his dose for the day, he said that he forgot as he had gone out in the morning.”
This led her to come up with the idea of a wearable device that needs setting up once but can remind people to take their medicines daily.
Aastha started working on a bracelet that’s comfortable to wear and easy to use. She made some prototypes for people to test in 2020 before zeroing in on the most practical design.
The concept was discussed in her Young Entrepreneurship Academy Class (YEA!) and with the support of her mentors, Aastha embarked upon the entrepreneurial path.
The premise is simple. All you have to do is store the medicines in the bracelet at the beginning of the day and wear it on your wrist. For a senior citizen, Aastha believes this is the best way to remind themselves that they need to take their doses on time.
“Although the initial idea was mainly for senior citizens, it also works for several others, given the large number of people battling diabetes, hormonal, cardio, or lifestyle conditions. While the middle age group may use smartphones or smartwatches for reminders, old people are reluctant to use multitasking devices for purposes beyond primary use. Also, they are not always close to or as addicted to devices as their younger counterparts. It’s right on your wrist so that works,” she adds.
With Rs 50,000 as seed money from her parents and Rs 10,000 won at the YEA Investor Panel, Aastha sent the designs to a manufacturer.
The product comes in two variations - the Silicon MediBrace priced at Rs 600 and the Metal MediBrace at Rs 900. The product is manufactured in Mumbai and Ahmedabad, and as the business scales up, Aastha plans to start manufacturing at different locations in India. She believes the product is unique, has no competition, and can benefit a large number of people.
The journey from inception to a successful prototype has been exciting.
“I come from a family of entrepreneurs, and listening to their ideas and looking at their execution has always been inspiring. The encouragement to ask questions, discuss things with adults, and intuitively following that gut feeling made the process very liberating. My parents and my grandfather have been a constant source of encouragement,” she says.
Having said this, Aastha also states, “YEA! has been of tremendous support in channelising my creativity into reality. Mentors who encourage possibility thinking combined with practicality are of utmost importance for entrepreneurs.”
Marketing and plans ahead
Marketing is happening mostly through social media promotions and word-of-mouth. In the long run, Aastha also aims to partner with chemists to offer the bracelet free along with large orders of medicines.
She recently received her first bulk orders from Trident Creation Private Ltd and Eternal Gandhi for 300 pieces with a revenue of Rs 2,40,000.
Aastha also aims to expand her product into silver and gold variations, add an alarm scheduler, and give an option of colourful belts and custom engravements for those with a vivid taste.
One of her primary drives is to make MediBrace available to all the senior citizens in old age homes.
“I would like to get in touch with NGOs who can act as mediators to achieve the same. Innovation and entrepreneurship must serve the society beyond profitability. Keeping that in mind, the product has been designed to be pocket-friendly, so children from all classes can gift it to their parents. 'Healthcare for all' must transcend from direct medicare to supportive medicare,” she says.
For a 12-year-old, she is pretty focused when it comes to balancing studies and entrepreneurship. “At the start of every day, I list down my tasks for the day and plan accordingly. This helps organise my time efficiently,” she says.
In the future, Aastha would like to explore more innovations in the field of science and convert them into viable business opportunities.