One Georgetown student’s efforts to save lives through vital monitoring and emergency alert wearable devices received a significant boost Nov. 28, thanks to Ted Leonsis (C’77, P’14, P’15), Zach Leonsis (MBA’15), and a team of expert entrepreneurs at Georgetown Entrepreneurship’s second annual “Bark Tank” pitch competition at Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business.
Shavini Fernando (G’18), who suffers from life-threatening heart and lung damage, received $30,000 of the Leonsis Family Entrepreneurship Prize. Fernando developed O2Wear, a wearable device that alerts people when their vital signs go out of normal range and call 911 for help.
“There’s currently no device that helps people with my condition get an alert as their vitals start going out of normal range or to get help,” says Fernando, who suffers from Eisenmenger’s Syndrome. “That’s why I am developing this wearable device. We do not always feel the oxygen dropping or the heart rate changes until they get to life-threatening numbers.”
Her device, O2Wear, is primarily for people with pulmonary hypertension but could be used by anyone who wants to be aware of their vital signs and for emergencies, especially for elderly people and people with cardiac issues.
“This is not just my win,” Fernando says of last night’s competition. “It’s a win for each and every person with pulmonary hypertension around the world.”
Fernando, who is a student in the Communications, Culture, and Technology program, also received an additional $5,000 for the People’s Choice Award, which was decided through live audience polling.
“It is really great to see these entrepreneurs understand how they have a higher calling of developing mission-based companies that have a business model around service,” said Ted Leonsis. “We want to invest in companies that are not only growth companies but also have a heart. Companies that add value to society at large. The program that …