Ristcall replaces antiquated nurse call buttons with smart watch technology

Startup Ristcall was founded August 2014 in Philadelphia, and recently completed Memphis Bioworks’ Zero to 510 medical device accelerator. Founder and CEO Srinath Vaddepally describes Ristcall as a game-changing technology, to disrupt the current nurse call button system found in hospitals and nursing homes. Ristcall has a software and a hardware component - - the hardware is a wifi-capable smart watch which patients use to call their nurse with specific requests about their needs, and the software helps nurses prioritize which patients to see first, as well as allowing hospital administrators to monitor data and improve quality at hospitals.

A few summers ago, Vaddepally was hospitalized with severe abdominal pain. “It was five in the morning, I couldn’t reach the call button and I fell. I pulled the card and no one showed up for 20 minutes. When the nurse came, I realized she didn’t know how long I had been waiting or why I called,” he said. After working in academia, engineering, and through healthcare fellowships, Vaddepally came up with the concept for Ristcall.

Before coming to Memphis for Zero to 510, Vaddepally and his Cofounders Ameya Bhad and Ycheng Bai went through the DreamIt healthcare accelerator in Philadelphia. In Memphis, Ristcall has worked through product development and refining its application. Going forward, Ristcall’s main challenge will be persevering through lengthy hospital sales cycles, which according to Vaddepally can often be six or seven layers of personnel per cycle. However, he says his time in Zero to 510 was critically helpful. “Compared to other accelerators, I can see here that they want us to stay. They want to help us as much as they can,” Vaddepally said.

Ristcall currently has contracts with three different hospitals, and has deployed in one nursing home in Pittsburgh. “We want to bring transparency to healthcare. We want participation from all the stakeholders – patients, families, and the hospitals,” Vaddepally said. Vaddepally plans to stay in Memphis, with his cofounders in Philadelphia.
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Emily Rooker hails from a small suburb in Michigan and attended college at Berklee College of Music. She is the Director of Community at Cowork Memphis, co-founder of The Lapel Project, active musician and freelance writer. Emily is passionate about community building, social activism, entrepreneurship, and living life like a tourist in Memphis.

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