Clever way to keep track of medical needs video

Waikato Times

Inspired to help her own parents, Clevercare founder Maria Johnston hopes her smart watch medical alarm will help elderly and dementia patients around the world.

It was bound to happen at some point. Twenty-six-year-old information communication graduate Maria Johnston and her software developer husband Dylan had been fiddling around with technology since their teens. When Maria Johnston's father got Alzheimers and Parkinson's Disease it quickly became obvious there were plenty of ways technology could help out.

When he wanted to go for walks, for example, a little GPS located on the watch strapped to his wrist could help the family keep tabs on him while giving him the freedom to roam. It could also trigger an alert to the family should her father wander into pre-set danger zones, or outside of certain boundaries.

When he needed to take medication a little alarm on that watch might be able to remind him, and keep a record of the times he had checked off the task.

BRIGHT IDEA: Maria Johnston came up with the smart alarm after her father developed Alzheimers and Parkinson's disease.
NICK REED/FAIRFAX NZ

BRIGHT IDEA: Maria Johnston came up with the smart alarm after her father developed Alzheimers and Parkinson's disease.

When, most importantly, he struck some emergency situation that little watch might also be able to function as a medical alarm.

So it was the software for all of this that was developed - and launched this week - by the couple's brand new company Clevercare.

"We are hardware-agnostic, which basically means we can run our software on any smartwatch device that is running the Android system," she said.

It is the only company they know of in New Zealand to have developed the smart alarm, which frees the elderly from needing to get to a landline when medical emergencies strike.

Maria Johnston has done it all with the help of a few friends, her husband's spare time and while raising their child.

It meant working "as hard as hell" but she couldn't be more delighted, and already has more projects lined up and is hunting for staff.

A $250,000 cash investment from Simon McDonald's Zap Cap Investments has also helped out, but Maria Johnston says they are not looking for any more support right now. The goal is simply to start making money and to work out how to launch into the global market.

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As for the father who inspired the whole journey, "He is really proud of me."

narelle.henson@fairfaxmedia.co.nz

 - Waikato Times

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