Teen Invents Stroke-Detecting Watch Inspired By Grandma’s Health Struggles

Naya Ellis’ unique idea is making news. Ellis, 14, designed the WingItt watch, which won the National STEM Challenge. Her inspiration came from her family’s experiences.

The watch monitors heart rates and nerve impulses to detect internal stroke signs. As a freshman at John F. Kennedy High School in New Orleans, she stated, “I want to do something I’m interested in that will also change the world.”

The young inventor’s journey began with the STEM NOLA program, which provides high-potential, low-income high-school students of color with an eight-month science, technology, engineering, and mathematics fellowship. The program led her to design a watch that detects seizures.

Ellis eventually changed her focus from developing a seizure-detecting device to developing a stroke-detecting watch when her grandmother suffered a stroke. While many stroke victims have apparent symptoms such as a sagging face or a strange taste in their mouth, Ellis aimed to create a gadget that could detect interior abnormalities.

She wanted to assist the 55+ population because her research revealed that this age group had a greater stroke rate than younger ones. As she tests her prototype, she wants to ensure that it only detects strokes and not other illnesses such as cardiac disorders.

She aimed to make WingItt accessible to anyone, especially senior persons who may not be able to afford high-end technology. The ninth-grader aspires to be an obstetrician-gynecologist when she graduates.

In addition to establishing an example for future young inventors, Ellis’ achievement in the National STEM Challenge places her among the select few picked as a champion out of over 2,500 participants nationwide.

She will present WingItt at a national festival in Washington, D.C., and learn from leading STEM professionals.

Leave a Reply