What kind of solution have the Health for America Fellows been developing? Read below to learn about Meerkat.
Over the past couple of months, we have been focusing on self-management. Most people with heart failure spend over 8,500 hours of the year outside of healthcare settings, so we figured it made sense to develop a solution to make those hours a little easier. From doctors, nurses, and patients, we have repeatedly heard about the importance of heart failure patients weighing themselves daily to detect early signs of fluid buildup. Fluid buildup can lead to extreme discomfort, trouble sleeping, and trouble breathing – even to the point of a potential emergency room visit.
People with heart failure are told to weigh themselves every day. In talking to patients and in trying to follow their weight regimens, we have learned about the frustrations of developing this daily habit. You have to remember to weigh in, pull out the scale, write down your weight, do the math to figure out your trends, and then act upon this data by calling your doctor, changing medications, or changing diets. Our team is going to make this process less of a process. Meet Meerkat.
Meerkat is a bathmat that takes and tracks your weight for you, helping you easily see changes in your health. It lies flat in front of your bathroom sink, fitting into the look and feel of the bathroom, without adding to the clutter and without asking you to deviate from your pre-existing routines. Meerkat measures weight as you brush your teeth, then sends the data straight to your phone, relieving you of the burden of going through the cumbersome, aforementioned steps.
We will share more about Meerkat in the upcoming months. We have been working hard to create prototypes, determine feasibility, and get feedback from patients and clinicians. We are putting our lean startup practices to work, testing our assumptions and pivoting as we go. In the next few days, we will be traveling across the pond to the Mobile World Congress conference in Barcelona, Spain to meet tech gurus, suppliers, and mentors to further refine and develop Meerkat!
We can’t express how thankful we are for all your continued support throughout this process. As we move into the next phase of the Fellowship, we ask that you help us spread the word about Meerkat. You can do this by sharing our website with family and friends, getting our updates on Twitter or Facebook, and following the travels of our little mascots on Instagram. We can’t wait to share our journey with you.