Young entrepreneur seeks to help elderly with new invention
Stacy M. Brown | 2/21/2014, 9:27 a.m.
BALTIMORE A picture of Alfonso Delaney’s great-grandfather sits in his bedroom as motivation for the Baltimore resident. Each day, Delaney, a junior at the University of Maryland Baltimore County takes a look at the photo and soaks in all of the inspiration he receives from it.
“When my great-grandfather was in a nursing home, he didn’t receive the proper care. He was neglected,” said Delaney, 20. “I keep the picture in my room and I wake up to it every day and it makes me determined that I’m going to help others get the proper care that he didn’t receive.”
According to a recent news release, Research and Markets, the worldwide telemedicine market is projected to become a $27.3 billion industry in two years.
Vast Care, LLC, the telemedicine company Delaney founded, has positioned itself to generate a portion of that projected estimate with a novel wearable product that helps the elderly remain at home while staying safe and healthy.
The product is worn by the patient and automatically sends a signal to a health care provider if a fall occurs.
An abstract and further detail of his invention are scheduled to be presented at an American Telemedicine Association (ATA) conference scheduled to take place in Baltimore in May.
According to the ATA, telemedicine is the use of medical information exchanged from one site to another via electronic communication and includes a variety of applications and services using two-way video, email, smart phones, wireless tools and other forms of telecommunications technology.
“I’ve been working with Dr. Jayfus Doswell to present how this telemedicine invention has the potential to predict fall severity, communicate information to emergency health professionals, and prevent fall related injuries and deaths that adversely impact millions of Americans and Marylanders each year who are 65 and older,” said Delaney, who also attended Morgan State University where he first met Doswell. Doswell is CEO of Juxtopia, LLC, a biomedical and information technology company, which counts as a leader in human performance monitoring products and services.
“Dr. Doswell has helped me so much,” Delaney said. “He’s very particular in what he does and if I don’t do my job, I feel like it’s going to reflect on him, so I work my heart out to make sure I don’t make him look bad. He’s an industry leader and I want him to be proud of me.”
Soon after Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley celebrated the opening of the Juxtopia Urban Innovation and Cooperative Entrepreneurship (JUICE) Lab two years ago, Delaney joined as an apprentice.
Delaney devised his invention and created his new company in the JUICE lab.
To give back to the next generation, Delaney also helped to provide entrepreneur mentorship to Baltimore middle and high school age students who are competing with teams around the world to develop a non-invasive diagnostic device that will uniquely diagnose 15 different diseases outside of hospital environments, Doswell said.
“Alfonso is a true example of a social entrepreneur with great potential to develop Vast Care to benefit the aging, address health disparities, and create a significant number of high-tech and well-paying jobs for Maryland,” Doswell said.
For his part, Delaney says he hangs out with peers who are also ambitious. He says that he and his friends set a high bar while also setting an example for others to give back to their communities.
“Our goals are to be the best that we can and to always remember that it is our duty to consider the lives of others by lending a helping hand,” said
Delaney, who is admittedly anxious to hit the ground running with his new company. “They say you cannot rush greatness, but I want to get going and do things that’ll help others and that’ll inspire others.”