PROVIDENCE, RI (WLNE) – Anthony Wilds, a 15-year-old from Pawtucket, has created his own invention to relieve his almost constant symptoms of Raynaud’s disease.
Alongside the New England Medical Innovation Center, the second student from the Metropolitan Regional Career and Technical Center unveiled his product known as “HotBandz”. This product serves as a heating band wrapped around the forearm and promotes circulation in the extremities.
“You actually feel the blood flowing outside of your fingers,” Wilds said. “It sends sharp pains, almost like pins and needles, but thousands of times.”
Raynaud’s disease causes small arteries in the extremities to narrow, decreasing blood flow and making it difficult to perform daily tasks. About 5 to 10 percent of Americans are affected by this condition, according to NEMIC.
Wilds, often having to hold his hands under hot water for long periods of time, explained, “I’m a high school kid who needs time to finish homework and stuff like that…while I’m just sitting in the water. hot, other people are doing things for me, and I feel like I’m useless at the time.
Sick of the mainstream student, the Pawtucket native took matters into his own hands, showing “HotBandz” at regional and national entrepreneurship competitions, and also catching the attention of NEMIC.
“We take medtech start-ups wherever they are, and we help get them where they realize their vision and what they want to do,” said Elena Iemma, Marketing and Business Associate at NEMIC. She continues, “I was doing this at 15…creating pitch decks, testing shots and all that.
“HotBandz” is still in the preliminary stages of patenting and prototypes, intended to help people with the same disorder.
“I want to distribute it to pharmaceutical companies and occupational therapy companies so it can be another form of heat therapy,” Wilds explained.
He concluded: “This is my field, this is my new career for real.”