Toronto teens invent wearable heart-monitoring device

Two Grade 12 Danforth Tech students have created a watch that tracks vital signs and can summon help in an emergency.

Grade 12 students are working with Ryerson University and St. Michael's Hospital

Grade 12 students Andre Bertram and Frank Nguyen created HeartWatch, a watch-like device that they say can track vital signs and call for help in an emergency. (CBC)

Two Grade 12 students from Danforth Tech have invented a watch that tracks vital signs and can summon help in an emergency.

Andre Bertram and Frank Nguyen created a health technology start-up for their watch-like device, called the HeartWatch. Bertram says their invention is different from other emergency devices.

"Many people can dial 911 and hit talk. But sometimes you're in denial as to whether or not something's actually wrong, and that's the difference. Our system uses technology to show that you are in trouble so that it takes away that need for your medical knowledge," he said.

The 24/7 device monitors a user's blood pressure, heart rate, blood oxygen levels and does ECG readings so that it can predict if someone will have a heart attack.

Nguyen's concern for his mother's heart condition inspired him to create the device.

Lan Nguyen's heart condition inspired her son Frank to create the device. (CBC)

"I don't know what she's doing at home and she is unwilling to call for EMS unless there is something that says you actually need help."

In her home in Toronto's Jane and Finch neighbourhood, Nguyen's mother Lan couldn't be more proud of her son's accomplishment.

"He said, 'this is very, very special. And when you have it and I am away, I'm not worried about you,'" she said.

They will show their creation to Premier Kathleen Wynne and Prince Edward on Tuesday as they meet with other technology founders at an event for young entrepreneurs.

Bertram and Nguyen are working with Ryerson University and St. Michael's Hospital to refine the tool and hope to see it around the world.


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