Why does asthma matter?
Asthma is the most common chronic disease and one of the leading causes of hospitalization for American children. Nearly ten million-- or one in seven-- kids are affected by asthma. Worrisome for children and parents alike, asthma is also a pressing public health issue, costing the U.S. over $15 billion annually.
Inhaled maintenance medication (corticosteroids) can effectively control asthma symptoms. However, non-adherence to treatment can result in unnecessary exacerbations, repeating symptoms and even a visit to the ER.
50% of all asthma costs could be prevented if kids simply adhered to their prescription.
We have developed mobile, digital, and smart tools that empower children as well as their parents and doctors to better manage asthma medication.
GeckoCap’s glowing reminder system helps children build healthy habits and motivates them to take control of their health.
With inhaler tracking, GeckoCap also makes managing asthma a collaborative effort, allowing parents and doctors to monitor adherence online on their phones, tablets or computers.
GeckoCap transforms a chronic illness into a manageable one, and allows kids to spend more time being kids.
GeckoCap was created by parents, engineers and physicians. We have personal and professional experience with pediatric asthma. We know what it is like to treat and care for children with asthma.
Yechiel Engelhard MD, MHA, MBA
A doctor and an entrepreneur. He has treated children, listened to their stories, and heard the concerns of their parents. He saw firsthand that the best way to get children to follow their treatment is to get them invested in their own treatment.
Mark Maalouf MEng, MBA
Mark received both a bachelor’s degree ('02) and a master's degree ('05) in Electrical Engineering from McGill University in Montreal, Canada. He focused on hardware design, telecommunications, numerical methods, and software design. Mark then spent 5 years at Microsoft Corporation in Redmond, Washington, working on enterprise software, first as a developer and then as an engineering manager. He left Microsoft in 2010 to earn his MBA from MIT Sloan ('12), with a focus on entrepreneurship.
Vadik Bakman BDes
Vadik is a multidisciplinary designer specialized in User Experience. His professional background is in tangible and digital media. With over 14 years of R&D experience, consulting and working with start ups, high-tech industry and science education organizations. For his service in a R&D unit IDF, he was awarded the prestigious Presidential Medal for Excellence ('01). He graduated from the Bezalel Academy for Art and Design in Jerusalem ('06). For the past 4 years Vadik was the creative director at the Science Museum in Jerusalem, there he designed science exhibitions and educational projects worldwide.
Michael Chiu PhD, MBA
The father of an energetic 9 year old, Owen, who has had asthma for three years. He noticed his son would have difficulty remembering when to take his inhaler. Between Michael, his wife, and the school nurse, it was hard to track the time and dose of Owen’s prescription.
Michael is a serial entrepreneur and technologist. He is the founder/CEO of Trophos Energy, a VC-backed startup sold in 2010. He spent 13 years at Teradyne as a technologist and business manager, and has served on the Cambridge Health Alliance Hospital Board. Michael has a Doctorate in Mechanical Engineering from MIT ('97) and an MBA from the MIT/Sloan Fellows program ('08).
Tal Tchwella MEng
Tal is currently working towards his BSc and MEng degrees in Computer Science and Engineering at MIT, focusing on computer systems. Prior to MIT, Tal spent 4 years in the Israeli Defense Forces as a developer lead and a product manager. Tal also worked for IBM Research as a Product Manager and for Microsoft as a Program Manager.