Inventing the Future of Kids’ Health
We are inventing the future of kids' health.
Healthcare is in the middle of a transformation. New policy, consumer behaviors, and technology are causing tectonic shifts in care delivery and changing the way consumers view healthcare. Reimbursement policies from the federal government and private insurers are increasingly incentivizing prevention and focusing on empowering people to incorporate health into their daily lives. In the midst of these changes, one population seems to be overlooked - kids.
We believe that kids are the most critical audience and present the greatest opportunity for dramatic improvements in human health. At Sproutel we employ an empathy-driven design process to scope, develop, and launch products that help children build a foundation for healthy lives. We leverage the power of play, the way that children actually learn, to impart meaningful education that is downright fun. Working with a vast network of doctors, scientists, nurses, and technologists, we bring cutting edge research and best practices to products that kids adore.
We are digital storytellers, engineers, artists, tinkerers, troublemakers, and doers. We drink our coffee black and speak in pictures. Our passion for kids health is personal, each one of us driven by our own experiences with illness and health management.
Co-founder & CEO
Co-founder & Chief Creative Officer
Debra Lieberman, PhD
Director of the Center for Digital Games Research, UC Santa Barbara. Expert in processes of learning and behavior change with digital media and games.
MIT Media Lab - Human Robot Interaction Group, focusing on early child development through physical play.
Maureen Strafford, MD
Pediatric anesthesiologist, cardiologist, and expert in pediatric chronic pain management at Tufts Medical Center.
Lisa Brown, RD, LD, CDE
Registered, licensed dietitian and certified diabetes educator.
Amy Hess-Fischl, MS, RD, LDN, CDE
Registered Dietitian, Certified Diabetes Educator Program Coordinator - Teen Transition Program at Kovler Diabetes Center.
Owner, Fulcrum Product Development. Expert in industrial design, manufacturing, and mechanical systems.
Our process is our secret sauce. Our approach to design is patient-centered and empathy-driven. Sproutel sits at the intersection of medical experts and families, translating best practices in health management to the context of the home.
It all starts with a need. We begin by talking to children, families, medical experts, and even companies to find opportunities for creating an impact.
Next, we dive in. We work with families to understand how health is managed at home, directly with kids to understand what they perceive, and collaborate with medical experts to synthesize best practices in care. This spawns an iterative prototyping and testing process, refining our design with each turn of the crank.
After successful testing, products are released into the world, often with the help of the champions we’ve worked with to initially identify a need. We aim for measurable impact and work with clinical partners to conduct outcomes research after product launch.
Jerry the Bear is a platform for interactive health education. Our first version of Jerry is designed for children with type 1 diabetes. Children care for Jerry by feeding him foods, administering insulin, and monitoring his blood glucose levels. As children keep Jerry healthy, they unlock our modular diabetes curriculum - a series of 21 animated storybooks depicting Jerry training for the All Star Games.
Jerry started by talking to doctors and families. We identified a need among the medical community and families to comfort and educate children with type 1 diabetes, and observed the importance of emotional support when meeting with families. What followed was a series of 29 prototype iterations and testing sessions with over 350 children to refine the design.
In 2014, Jerry the Bear was sold to 4% of children newly diagnosed and made it into 25% of pediatric endocrinologist offices in the US.
Funded in part by: