Three Waterloo Science alumni created a smart healthcare solution to tackle life-threatening pressure injuries. Their smart products are currently in clinical pilot trials.
It began with “Hack4Health” in 2015, where three Waterloo science students learned that bedsores were a critical issue for healthcare in North America costing seven lives an hour and up to $20B every year. Zied Etleb (BSc '16, MBET '17), Moazam Khan (BSc '16, MBET '17) and Matthew Sefati (BSc '16) decided to tackle the problem and develop smart products to prevent and manage pressure wounds. The co-founders called their startup company Curiato Inc.
"The first time I saw a bedsore, it was a really scary moment. That got the curiosity engine going."
Four years later and Curiato is in clinical pilots with a novel skin-data platform that collects real-time patient data from a bedsheet with built-in sensors. One of the first applications of this AI platform is to help predict and prevent the development of bedsores.
The innovative system retrofits to existing hospital beds, and uses advanced sensors to detect biological factors – like moisture and heat. AI analyzes the data and predicts the potential for wound development and other conditions, delivering this information to caregivers in real-time, via a digital interface. As a result, front-line care teams can prioritize procedures and increase quality of life for at-risk patients.
Curiato’s skin-data platform is part of a pilot study at Grace Health Centre in Toronto. The project received a $1M grant from the Centre for Aging and Brain Health Innovation's (CABHI) Industry Innovation Partnership Program, and it has the potential to make a significant impact on the healthcare sector.
The platform collects continuous data to enhance the solution’s robust, predictive models and may also be extended to other applications like bed falls, injury management, pain management and infection control.
Curiato is also developing a smart mattress that provides all the benefits of the sheet, and includes a variable pressure redistribution system – meaning that it will self-adjust to alleviate pressure points and prevent wounds.
Working out of Waterloo's startup incubator, Velocity, Khan and his fellow co-founders are excited at the opportunity to improve efficiencies and outcomes for healthcare providers and, most importantly, patients.