Evgeni Machvariani, Co-Founder & CTO LittleOne.Care
As a techy, I tend to share less and develop more. But the story of LittleOne.Care is a personal journey that began with my own baby, as my wife and I wanted to understand him better.
To be honest, we are both considered concerned parents, probably more than average. We follow our baby closely, his development, and look for ways to improve our care. In fact, up to pre-school he was home-schooled.
Understand the baby’s reason for crying
Over the years we noticed various patterns and situations where things could have been done better. This is probably a thought every parent has, but being a technology-oriented person, I looked for solutions that could help.
For example, we discovered a bit later that our baby is allergic to milk. He was showing discomfort and grumpiness for a while. We later discovered the pattern - the crying always come a half an hour after the meals. This led us to investigate and realize the health issue.
The pattern was there, but the human mind isn’t set to understand delayed cause and effect. These patterns could be easily detected with dedicated algorithms. It left me wishing we could have understood our baby’s reason for crying and detect the stomachache sooner.
Starting the start-up
As time went on, I consulted with friends and family, and the idea developed. I also shared this with Shauli Gur-Arieh and Ami Meoded, who are now my colleagues and co-founders. We all agreed that our technological and business background, along with a real market need, will bring forth a revolutionary product that will make a difference in both baby and parent’s lives.
The product will soon be a reality. We distributed working prototypes to dozens of families - who not only tested it, but also gave great feedback. We are also in touch with a team of experts, including pediatric physical therapists, sleep consultants and others, to ensure both safety and usefulness.
Testing and feedback is an important part of the development process, as we want our solution to be valuable and helpful to parents facing the daily challenges babies bring.
CTO – the work and challenges
In a nutshell, being a CTO in a small start-up means handling any technological part of our product. The huge variety of methodologies/ fields is a great challenge but also a great experience.
The product consists of a wearable device that is placed on a baby’s top, along with an app that shows parents the main insights and tips.
Designing a baby device comes with many challenges. The plastics and shape are designed with safety as a top concern. Food grade materials, gentle curves, and a size that does not curse discomfort, yet are large enough to be swallow proof.
Then comes the electronics. Based on the parents’ feedback, the device will not transmit while on the baby. It has to be smart, and hold significant computation capability in a very small device. That requires sophistication along with cutting edge techniques.
And finally, the algorithms. The place where the real magic happens. Reconstructing the baby's day from the raw data and processing it into meaningful insights is the heart of our company.
Present & future
Right now there are several projects on my desk that aim to enhance our solution:
1. Our new optimized circuit board shows very promising results. With nearly half the size and a combination of a high-performance processor with a low energy consumption regime, This board is a huge jump from the alpha prototypes.
2. Our algorithms continue getting smarter. Recently, we made a major improvement in our breath tracking algorithm. I am currently working on a better method to “filter out” earth’s gravitational acceleration, and the movement type classifier is coming next. Tomer’s cry detection made great progress as well.
LittleOne.Care is now going into the second and final Alpha Pilot testing in several countries. I am certain the parent feedback will help us improve even more, and I will have a few more technical projects on my desk.