Rhode Island Patent of the Month – August 2022
While we go to a hospital to get better, it is typically a very stressful experience for many. From medical anxiety to unknown people and scary machinery, children are especially prone to fear of the doctors office. While most kids only face this problem now and again, any kid who needs repeated procedures, like chemotherapy, is faced with constant stress. Overcoming this stress can help improve the quality of treatment and the communication between the child, parents, and doctors.
Sproutel, Inc. was founded with this in mind. The company has smartly positioned itself at the intersection of tech, design, and social good. This means designing ‘play with purpose’ products and stress relief solutions.
Recently, the company has expanded their offerings with the patent of a toy meant to support kids throughout their hospital visits. The toy is designed to alleviate the stress of treatment by offering comfort and education. It’s proven that having some understanding of the procedure provides a sense of security and understanding. By eliminating the ‘unknown’ aspect, the kid can feel more comfortable with the procedure.
The teddy bear design is inviting to kids while the smart technology builds a relationship and offers education. An object identification system is built-in to recognize various sensors in the healthcare facility while near-field communications (NFC) allows for some connectivity. By connecting with the nearby equipment, the toy can know exactly what type of equipment the kid is being exposed to and offer some educational information about it. For instance, explaining what the heart rate monitor is or the purpose of the IV. With a built-in logic system, the toy can also help coordinate or track a patient’s progress, keeping them informed and aware.
The combination of knowledge, educational tools, and the cuddly exterior creates a calming companion offering Play with a Purpose. The support and comfort provided alleviates stress, helping kids through their stay at a hospital, and creating comfort in an uncomfortable environment.
Are you developing new technology for an existing application? Did you know your development work could be eligible for the R&D Tax Credit and you can receive up to 14% back on your expenses? Even if your development isn’t successful your work may still qualify for R&D credits (i.e. you don’t need to have a patent to qualify). To find out more, please contact a Swanson Reed R&D Specialist today or check out our free online eligibility test.
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