May 01, 2018
Aaron Horowitz, Sproutel
cofounder and CEO of
Many health tech plays are motivated by practicality. However, Sproutel's is motivated in large part by heart: The company creates toys to bring comfort to sick children. Those toys also serve an important medical purpose.
Sproutel's first product, Jerry the Bear, is designed to help children with type 1 diabetes manage and understand their illnesses in a novel manner: By making them responsible for taking care of Jerry's diabetes. Kids press the bear's fingers to monitor glucose levels, feed him via food cards, and administer the correct insulin dosage. Jerry comes with animated storybooks – and include tasks that, when completed, can unlock new stories.
Sproutel's latest product, My Special Aflac Duck, won a Best of CES 2018 Award for Best Unexpected Product. The duck makes naturalistic movements that distract children fighting cancer, while an associated app uses augmented reality to mimic their daily routines.
“Our goal is to become the Disney of healthcare,” Horowitz told NBC News earlier this year.