2018 Winner: Teen Entrepreneurs Develop Wearable Medical Device to Help People with Heart Conditions

Updated: Jan 15, 2019



Richa Krishna, 17, of Los Altos, CA along with her team members, William Barkoff, 16 of New York, NY and Anna Pertl, 17, of Munich, Germany are one of this year’s competitors in the i.Invest National Youth Business Competition. The team, who met at the 2017 MIT Launch Entrepreneurship Program, are the co-founders of Pulse Wearables, a startup company working to develop a potential life-saving wearable patch that will give people limited by heart conditions peace of mind. We spoke with Krishna to learn more about the business venture:


Tell us about your business/product.


The Pulse Wearables device is a non-invasive patch that is easy to use, inconspicuous and does not require any companion devices, such as smartphones to operate. For patients who have been diagnosed with a heart condition, our wearable technology will positively change the way they monitor their heart health. Pulse Wearables allows people who experience dangerous arrhythmias - 16 million people in the US alone - to live their lives to the fullest. The user inputs the heart rate levels recommended by their cardiologist through a mobile app. When their heart exceeds the maximum safe heart rate, the patch vibrates gently to notify them to adjust their activity levels to better suit their heart.


What inspired you to start Pulse Wearables?


Pulse Wearables was inspired by my personal need for a reliable and an inconspicuous device, which I could wear to keep my heart rate in check. I was a high-performing ballet dancer when I was diagnosed with Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM), a heart condition in which the heart muscle becomes abnormally thick, causing the heart to have a dangerously high frequency of irregular heart rhythms, called arrhythmias, at high activity levels. Having HCM meant every time I was dancing and training, my heart rate could reach levels that caused dangerously irregular rhythms. Too many arrhythmias meant a high risk to my life, which led me to give up spots in prestigious performances, competitions, and training events. There were no devices available that allowed me to take more control of my activity, and that’s what inspired the need to create one. Additionally, my co-founder, William, has Supraventricular Tachycardia (SVT), a heart condition also related to dangerously high heart rates that can lead to arrhythmias and therefore, understands this need as well.


How will Pulse Wearables impact the world?