Entrepreneur of the Week: Emile Maamary, Steadiwear
Steadiwear is the creator of a stabilizing smartglove designed to minimize the impact of hand tremors. Although the glove is not yet available for purchase, the team has demoed their product at a variety of venues and was recently chosen to participate in the 2018 MassChallenge TX.
We talked to Emile Maamary, co-founder and CEO, about Steadiwear and the opportunity they see in the 50+ market.
Longevity Network: What does Steadiwear Inc., the company, do?
Emile Maamary: Steadiwear inc. caters to the dexterity needs of hand tremor sufferers. Our flagship product, the Steadiglove, is a revolutionary tremor stabilizing exoskeleton that will provide stability to those with hand tremors.
LN: Can you tell us about your product and how it works?
EM: We have developed the Steadiglove, a glove that intelligently stabilizes the wrist joint in Essential Tremor and Parkinson’s disease patients using revolutionary vibration damping technology. Our novel, battery-free ball joint damper uses a smart material that was designed to resist tremors (>2hz) while allowing voluntary motion (<2Hz). Our System allows full range of motion while resisting multiple tremor directions that are proven to be the most common in Parkinson’s disease and Essential tremor
LN: What opportunity did you want to address with the development of your technology?
EM: The inspiration for this project began after visiting my grandmother who had hand tremors. She was pouring coffee and spilled it on his hands. It was unbearable to watch. Solving this issue became our passion and focus. That is when I knew what I wanted to do.
LN: Who are your primary users? In what ways can your products benefit the 50+ population?
EM: Essential Tremor is most common in the 40+ age group while Parkinson’s disease is typical in the 60+ age group. There are social components to this condition. Having a tremor in public leads to social anxiety depression and eventual isolation. In fact, over 30% of tremor patients have depressive symptoms and 25% of them are forced to change jobs or take early retirement due to their condition. Hand tremors are a debilitating movement disorders that significantly affect daily living activities, social life, mental health and success in the workplace. The Steadiglove aims to minimize these effects on the patient’s quality of life by reducing these tremors.
LN: How did you assemble your team?
EM: Mark and Emile met during their last semester in university but did not launch Steadiwear for another year later while Emile was working on a Canada’s first mobile app focused on carpooling. Mark had been heavily researching tremor solutions for some time before Steadiwear was born. Both co-founders have tremors in their family and agreed that the current solutions were not sufficient.
LN: How has Steadiwear Inc. the company differed from what you envisioned it would be (if at all)?
EM: Steadiwear Inc started with a clear vision that remains unchanged: Offer a revolutionary solution for individuals with hand tremors. We have discovered future applications for our technology in other industries but our core focus will remain in healthcare.
LN: What do you wish you had known before developing your concept?
EM: The importance of a synergistic multidisciplinary team. As a small operation with few team members, the early stages were quite challenging as it is a multidisciplinary project. Once key individuals began joining the product team, the operation was much smoother.
LN: What most excites you about the aging and / or health technology market?
EM: The speed at which it is growing and how effective some of the products are proving to be. From Nanotechnology & Big Data to Artificial Intelligence, each one of these technologies will shape a whole new industry with much less down time and discrepancies than today’s healthcare systems.
LN: What is your best piece of advice for startups who want to include or target the 50+ market?
EM: Make sure to integrate yourself with every key stakeholder in the market. This varies on a case-by-case basis, however in our space it generally includes physicians, caregivers, end-users and distributors. Their feedback and requirements will drive successful design efforts.
LN: Do you have any other products in development?
EM: We are currently focused on our flagship product, the Steadiglove. However we do have an exiting product roadmap which includes more advanced versions of the glove and potentially the application of our technology to other industries.
LN: Where do you see Steadiwear Inc. five years from now?
EM: Steadiwear inc is currently focused on the development and commercialization of the Steadiglove. In five years time, we will have more advanced versions of the glove on the market as well as a product line addressing other healthcare challenges which we currently cannot disclose.
LN: Anything else you’d like to share?
EM: Steadiwear is preparing for a larger round of manufacturing, this next batch will help us complete larger early adoption testing. If you suffer of ET, please reach out so we can help make sure every Assistive Technology Clinic in North America has access to our prototypes.
Emile has experienced the struggle of tremor patients firsthand. Emile’s grandmother suffer from tremors. Along with his partner Mark, they decided to join forces and solve this problem. Mark’s background is in Structural dynamics and Entrepreneurship while Emile’s background is in marketing and management. Steadiwear was then conceived with a mission to restore independence and quality of life to all tremor sufferers around the world.