For people living with heart rhythm disorders, the idea of finding themselves in an emergency situation with no help nearby is a terrifying reality. Founders of HelpWear created a solution for this with HeartWatch, a continuous, clinical-grade ECG monitor worn on a patient’s biceps without the need for surgery or wet electrodes.
HelpWear was created by Frank Nguyen and Andre Bertram. The inspiration behind the HeartWatch came from Nguyen’s own experience with his mother, who lives with life-threatening heart problems. Concerned for his mother's health, he turned to his high-school friend, Bertram, and together they worked to create a solution. Shortly after, the two brought on Dr. Derek Exner as HelpWear’s third co-founder and Chief Medical Officer. Exner is a practising MD and electrophysiologist and serves as the Canada Research Chair in Cardiovascular Clinical Trials at the University of Calgary.
HelpWear is currently at the piloting stage of bringing the HeartWatch to market. The company has started paid, pre-commercial, pilot deployments in Canada and expect to start other deployments in Calgary shortly. Partnering with UCeed has, so far, opened many doors. “Our involvement with UCeed has been critical in navigating our clinical validation operations in Calgary as well as exploring other opportunities with stakeholders in Alberta," says Nabil Uddin, HelpWear's chief of staff.
Over the next year, HelpWear plans to complete its final study for regulatory approval in Canada and the U.S. and begin scaling deployment across health systems.
Visit HelpWear’s website for more information.
HelpWear has received investment from UCeed, a venture philanthropy fund accelerating UCalgary and community-based startup companies to advance problem-solving research, create jobs and fuel the economy. A key program in the UCalgary innovation ecosystem, UCeed bridges the gap between innovation, demonstration and commercialization, and is managed by UCalgary’s knowledge-transfer and business incubator, Innovate Calgary.
UCeed Health Fund is supported by the generosity of the River Fund at the Calgary Foundation and its mission to build a healthy and vibrant community where everyone belongs.