Update: This version corrects the spelling of Steve McGough's last name.
When Steve McGough, founder and director of research and development for Wilmington-based Human Innovations, was at a Google programmer’s conference he was asked to design a medical-based app for something not currently being addressed.
“I have an old friend who is dealing with multiple system atrophy – a Parkinson’s-like illness that unfortunately has a much more accelerated disease process. Many MDs don’t even know what this disease is and often misdiagnose it,” he said in an email. “Many people are diagnosed with Parkinson’s but then pass away and the autopsy shows it was misdiagnosed MSA. It occurred to me that having a way to measure tremors on both hands and show the movement in each direction could be of benefit.”
The result of that request was the TremWatch app, which was launched in August of 2014. “TremWatch allows people to easily measure, track and compare hand tremors in both hands over time,” McGough said. “It’s designed for anyone who has a tremor in either (or both) hands and wants to keep a log of changes over time. To use it you just select which hand you want to measure, tap ‘start’ and hold your hand out and still for 15 seconds.”
Human Innovations LLC launched in 2010. It’s worked with a number of clients, and TremWatch is its first app.
The market isn’t a large one, but that isn’t necessarily discouraging.
“It was (and is) satisfying to create a tool to help people who needed it,” McGough said.
His desire to use technology to help people improve their lives grew from childhood health problems.
“I was morbidly obese as a child and lost 60 pounds when I was 11,” McGough said. “As a result, my lifelong interest has focused on why people gain weight and how their lifestyle and beliefs impact that.
“This expanded to overall fitness and ultimately what makes people happy and have meaningful lives. I left working in neuroscience research to co-found Internet Technologies Inc. in the mid-90s for the specific purpose of learning how to create adaptive software that helps people adjust their behaviors and lifestyle in a positive way.”
In the period between launching Human Innovations and releasing TremWatch, McGough and his team were working on other technologies related to patents they owned. This year to commercialize the result of that work, McGough launched Women and Couples Wellness LLC, which is also owned by Greg Fisher, CEO of the Berkeley Sourcing Group LLC, and Ideas and Innovations LLC.
Women and Couples Wellness is a sister company of Human Innovations and is owned by that company.
Their first product is called “hi” and is a massage device set to be released in March 2016.
While “hi” has been tested and endorsed by multiple sexologists, including Betty Dodson, the company is also looking into the medical benefits of the device.
“We are in discussion with medical research groups in Atlanta, New York City, San Francisco and multiple locations in China for doing studies on the following areas: female stress-based urinary incontinence, migraine headaches and PMS symptoms,” Gough said.
There was a prerelease and demonstration at the Sexual Health Expo in New York City in September.