OxiWear: The Race to Create a Wearable Life Saver


This case focuses on OxiWear, a company offering a wearable device that monitors individual oxygen levels throughout the day in order to manage disease or maximize athletic performance. The device alerts users and emergency contacts to dangerous drops in O2 level. The company was founded by CEO Shavini Fernando, a young Sri Lankan woman who came to the United States to get a second medical opinion about her pulmonary hypertension. This case examines the CEO’s headline-inspiring race to build a lifesaving device for herself that might also help a billion others live the active life they want. The business vision imagines corporate sports and medical use offsetting costs of health-related consumption, especially in developing countries. Fernando imagines that selling the first continuous stream of anonymized oxygen blood data detected via the ear wearable will also have significant value.

The primary goal of the case is to illustrate how entrepreneurial traits can be used to overcome individual and business challenges and stay focused. Other goals are to expose students to the concept of empathic design and to recognize the hard and soft skills needed for social entrepreneurship involving health innovation. Finally, students will consider how data and other outputs of product use can create new revenue streams.

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