Hospital wristbands may be about to be teched out thanks to 15-year-old

Fifteen-year-old Ben Bell has decided it's high time the hospital wristband entered the smart technology era and he's turned to crowdfunding to make it so.

After getting lost trying to find where his Dad was in hospital, Ben started researching solutions and came up with nothing. 

“I want to solve this problem, and I think I have a solution that fits the bill," says Ben.

“I have been working with local designers in Wellington, and now I am at the stage of making a full working prototype of the smart wristband,” he says.  

The Wellband system is essentially a patient wristband married to a GPS, that's then linked to a smartphone, making it easy to locate a patient and store pertinent pieces of information.  

“It’s not about the hospital being able to track the patient – it’s about the patient being able to find their loved ones no matter where their treatment moves them to,” he says.  

It's hoped the smart wristbands may be a step in the right direction to decrease personal identification errors in treatments and improve patient comfort and wellbeing, such as ensuring patients do not miss out on meals because they have moved wards.  

Ben hopes the wristbands will not only help friends and family locate their loved-one patients more easily, but also provide better identification of the patient, facilitate secure entry into bedside cabinets, record medical and drug treatments in real-time, and be an on-wrist wallet for the pharmacy, hospital café and vending machines.  

Ben has been in talks with the Bio Commerce Centre, Grow Wellington and Callaghan Innovation but they are unable to help with funding at this point, so he's turned to crowdfunding in the hopes of getting the project off the ground.  

Check out the Ben’s Go Fund Me page here.