who are the hearts behind Pulse Wearables?
Richa Krishna: A senior from Los Altos, CA. Previously a design intern at Kenzen (a San Francisco based wearable device company), an intern at DC Design (a social-impact design firm), a founding team member for EmojiHealth (a teen mental health app) at Quarter Zero incubator, a national finalist in the Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) Publication Design competition, founder of LAHS Maker Club (club chartered to expose students to the Maker Movement), and a certified mentor at MakeX Palo Alto (a teen-for-teen makerspace).
Anna Pertl: A senior from Munich, Germany. Started One Woman One Garden (a charity project in Burkina Faso) doing organization, fundraising, and web design, and runs school yearbook editing and social media.
The idea for Pulse Wearables was inspired by a personal need in Richa's life:
‘‘I was a high-performing ballet dancer when I was diagnosed with Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM), a heart condition in which the heart muscle becomes abnormally thick, causing the heart to have a dangerously high frequency of irregular heart rhythms, called arrhythmias, at high activity levels. Having HCM meant every time I was dancing and training, my heart rate could reach levels that caused dangerously irregular rhythms. Too many arrhythmias meant a high risk to my life, which led me to give up spots in prestigious performances, competitions, and training events. The activity that I had devoted everything to and absolutely loved more than anything else was all of a sudden a major risk to my life. My heart could have stopped beating any time I was dancing and I had to stop training altogether because I couldn’t tell when I needed to slow down. There were no devices available that allowed me to take more control of my physical activity. That’s what inspired me to create one.’’
When you bring three talented and ambitious teenagers together to solve a problem, you get an extraordinary team.
The Pulse Team came together at MIT Launch (now called LaunchX) in 2017 and has since been working hard to get their product into the hands of those whose lives they believe it can change.