A student proposal for an electronic patch that measures and relays body temperature data won first place in the 2013 Henry R. Kravis Concept Plan Competition.
The award recognizes students or alumni of The Claremont Colleges who develop a business plan that reflects the competitive nature, flair and aptitude required of today’s entrepreneurs.
Harvey Mudd College engineering major Demetri Monovoukas ’15, Miles Bird (CMC), Collin Hill (University of Pennsylvania) and Aaron Goldstein (University of Pennsylvania) received a $4,250 prize for their invention, Life Patch.
Still under development, Life Patch is a small, adhesive patch that adheres to a patient’s neck and monitors real-time body temperature, and then wirelessly sends that data to a mobile phone or other digital device. The patch would eliminate the need for frequent checks with a conventional thermometer on young, ill or elderly patients.
“Maybe a continuously monitoring temperature patch isn’t going to change the world, but it’s a step in the right direction,” said Monovoukas. “To me, winning the award means that I am being recognized and encouraged to try my best to use my engineering skills to make a difference in the world.”
He became involved with the project after friends introduced him to Bird, who had heard about Monovoukas’ WoundStylus medical device, which measures the area, perimeter and temperature of wounds. Bird—who met Goldstein and Hill at a Kairos Society retreat—intrigued Monovoukas with an unmet market need regarding body temperature measurement.
Hill had recognized the need when he had to regularly monitor his body temperature while undergoing chemotherapy for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a rare blood cancer.
“Collin found himself constantly taking his temperature and wondered why there wasn’t a monitoring device on the market. Thus, he teamed up with Aaron, Miles and me to address this need, and we came up with the Life Patch,” said Monovoukas.
The four men discussed their proposed business venture, and then Monovoukas began designing a prototype. Now as co-founders of Life Patch LLC, they will be refining their prototype and creating a smartphone app.
Monovoukas plans to pursue a career designing and inventing medical devices and hopes to one day own a medical device company.