A man's fear of getting another heart attack led to an invention which could save the lives of vulnerable people
PUBLISHED: 17:10 21 November 2018 | UPDATED: 11:10 26 November 2018
After suffering from a heart attack 10 years ago, Davide Gasparin recalls being struck by a terrible fear that the same thing might happen again.
“In that period, I met many people with the same health problems as me,” he recalled. “Some of them had family to support them, but not everyone. It inspired me to create something that meant these people would never have to be alone.”
He developed a high-tech wearable monitoring device, the Making Possible HAI (How Am I) system, which can help sick people who may be worried in case an emergency arises.
Mr Gasparin is originally from near Venice in Italy, but moved his fledgling company to the UK four years ago and now lives in Harwich with his wife Irene.
“I came to the UK because I felt inspired by the British government’s focus on helping people who suffer from crippling health defects,” he said.
After spending the last six years perfecting his invention, Mr Gasparin is launching it just in time for Christmas - “so that relatives can purchase it as a gift for their loved ones suffering from illnesses, to support independent living,” he explained.
Mr and Mrs Gasparin still have to make ends meet while launching the business, so Mr Gasparin is a part time home shopper in Tesco Extra Copdock in Ipswich and his wife does the same job for ASDA Superstore on Goddard Rd in Ipswich.
Mr Gasparin had the assistance of 18 people to work on the Making Possible project, in Italy and China as well as in the UK, and receiving start up funding from the Suffolk Enterprise Centre in Ipswich.
“My goal is to vastly ease and improve the quality of life of vulnerable people in British society and to work alongside the institutions that help them,” said Mr Gasparin.
The Hai system is unlike alarm systems linked to telephone lines, as it can be used by anyone, anytime, anywhere.
It uses a wearable product known as a ‘module.’
Each portable piece of equipment monitors the heart rate, and includes an accelerometer to indicate a fall, an SOS emergency alarm, GPS location and tracking, reminders, and voice commands for blind users. It can also call emergency services.
As well as being intended for use by those struck by ill health, the Making Possible HAI system can also be used to monitor care workers, or to protect people without specific health issues who want the security of knowing help is at hand in case a dangerous situation occurs.
But while he has complete faith in his product, Mr Gasparin, who is currently waiting to become a British citizen, is now worried that Brexit might affect the success of his new business.
“Brexit could create difficulties for people working with new technologies,” he said. “It will affect the UK’s relationship with other countries and make trading more difficult. The movement of people and goods will also be harder.
“The UK people, my people, will have big financial problems and it will make it harder to buy things, so it may affect their ability to spend money on a product to help their health.”