Peter Chamberlain is co-founder and president of WalkSmart, an innovative solution that seeks to prevent falls by those who utilize walkers. This innovation impacts the cost of medical bills for the elderly and offers peace-of-mind for family members. “WalkSmart is the first smart walker attachment… it began as an idea for my family members and now it is a full company set to solve the problem of falls for those that use walkers,” explained Chamberlain.
Chamberlain currently lives in Grand Forks, North Dakota as his wife completes medical school. His entrepreneurial journey includes growing up in Oregon, earning a mechanical engineering degree at the University of Portland, followed by a graduate degree from MIT in Boston. “I have always thought about solving problems…. even during my education I participated in things that sought to solve problems (i.e. the Hyperloop Team at MIT, and the Water Innovation Prize),” said Chamberlain.
During his education at MIT, Chamberlain thought often on the idea of preventing falls for the elderly population like that of his grandparents. Throughout 2015, there were several iterations of the product that Chamberlain considered until the idea became a reality in 2016. “After I graduated from MIT, I wrestled with solving this problem until I came to the conclusion that I could find the solution and make it into a product and company,” explained Chamberlain.
In 2016, the idea evolved into WalkSmart, and the last two years have involved different iterations of the smart device and service platform. The current product operates by attaching to a person’s walker. This device then sends data to a user platform that can be seen by the user, the family, and even medical staff. “If Grandma moves with her walker (or doesn’t), the smart device tracks that data… Our platform will even send real-time alerts as text messages, emails, or phone calls if a fall takes place,” said Chamberlain.
Chamberlain credits the success of WalkSmart to the strong entrepreneurial community in North Dakota. Currently, the WalkSmart team is finishing up a fundraising round to get the product to the next level. Over the last two years, Chamberlain has utilized the North Dakota Development Fund and Innovate North Dakota as resources for WalkSmart. “North Dakota has offered us the collective knowledge of the business community and we have all we need to launch this product into the market to make an impact,” explained Chamberlain.
The WalkSmart product is available online for $10 per month. This monthly fee provides the user with the WalkSmart walker hardware and access to the online dashboard and app tracker. The product is being positively embraced by the assisted living community and has potential in numerous settings in the medical industry. “We have found the highest success rate of our product at assisted living communities where the staff is alerted when residents begin walking in their room overnight. The rate of falls has dropped significantly because the staff is made aware of the immediate need to assist residents,” said Chamberlain.
Learn more from Peter Chamberlain and WalkSmart as he speaks at 1 Million Cups Fargo on Wednesday, April 4th, 2018 at 9:15 a.m. at The Stage in Island Park.