Dustin Jefferson Onghanseng’s healthtech startup was launched in 2014 as a solution for his own ailments, but it’s since developed into the world’s most advanced indoor air quality detector.
Singapore-based startup uHoo tracks air quality and provides real-time alerts through a mobile device application. The company has developed a pint glass-sized device equipped with more sensors than any other product on the market so far, which measure toxins to help users learn about the air they’re breathing and identify potential triggers for respiratory conditions.
The idea originated from a dorm room conversation between CEO Onghanseng and his cofounder, Brian Lin, during their MBA program in Hong Kong. With Onghanseng suffering from rhinitis and Lin from asthma, they built uHoo from the ground up by combining their backgrounds in business strategy and electrical engineering.
The value of the idea is that users can understand their habits and environment and better manage their health.
“If we use the analogy of a FitBit or a step tracker, before we used these devices we didn’t really know how many many steps we take each day, but the moment we know, it’s something that we can measure and we can start to manage it,” Onghanseng said.
Having said that, uHoo isn’t only for those with health conditions. According to Onghanseng, toxins can come from cleaning products at home like bleach as well as perfumes, paint and glue. The CEO said that even cooking on extremely high heat or using a gas stove can emit chemicals and carbon dioxide.
“We detect particles such as PM2.5,” Onghanseng explained. These particles are particularly dangerous because they’re small enough to go inside your lungs and the body has no way of filtering them.
uHoo’s eight sensors are what differentiates it from other products. The app has explanations on what each sensor means, what the numbers mean within a certain range, and also provides alerts and recommendations for users.
It shows all eight air quality parameters with trends over time by the minute, by the hour, and by the day. The house diary function also allows users to record when they experience health ailments and, over time, uHoo is able to correlate these instances with air quality levels.
The startup is looking to establish itself on the B2B market before it gears its strategy toward consumers. It’s running paid pilots in hospitals, where it not only enhances the patient and visitor experience but helps monitor the health and safety of hospital staff. The product has received received lots of positive feedback and Onghanseng said they are now concentrating on getting it out to Indiegogo backers in the next 12 months.
uHoo was still in stealth mode when they were named finalists in the 2015 Talent Unleashed Awards in the Best Startup – Environmental Impact category, but the CEO said the award helped the health tech startup build credibility. The team reached 150 percent of its Indiegogo goal in June and hopes to raise a Series A round in the next few months.
Is entering the 2016 Talent Unleashed Awards part of your journey? Check out the categories and enter here.