This 14-year-old girl created a watch that detects signs of stroke

BY Preta Peace Namasaba April 5, 2024 6:30 PM EDT
Naya Ellis. Photo credit: STEM NOLA

Naya Ellis, a 14-year-old girl from New Orleans has created the WingItt, an innovative wristwatch designed to detect early signs of a stroke. Recognizing the signs and symptoms of a stroke early and seeking fast treatment can lessen stroke-induced brain damage and save lives. Ellis’ invention therefore adds to similar tech that have the potential to save millions of lives.

According to her parents, Ellis developed a deep empathy and desire to alleviate human suffering at a tender age. She tended to her mother who was battling breast cancer at only seven.

She got to realize her aspirations by participating in STEM NOLA, an initiative that empowers K-12 students to engage in hands-on STEM projects. The eight-month fellowship is designed to nurture the problem-solving skills of underprivileged students.

Inspired by her grandmother’s battle with strokes, Ellis embarked on a transformative journey. She was equipped with the tools and opportunities to bring her innovative ideas to life. Ellis recognized the lack of affordable and accessible stroke-detection devices and decided to create WingItt. The device is tailored to meet the needs of stroke-prone demographics, particularly older adults.

Her ambition extends beyond mere invention and is driven by a sense of social responsibility. Ellis aims to make WingItt financially accessible to seniors who cannot afford pricey health-monitoring gadgets. By democratizing access to life-saving technology, she hopes to bridge the gap in access to healthcare.

Her hard work and ingenuity have not gone unnoticed. Ellis has been recognized as one of the top students in the National STEM Challenge.  She will showcase her groundbreaking invention at the forthcoming festival in Washington, D.C. organized by the U.S. Department of Education and EXPLR. Her success highlights the transformative power of STEM education in empowering young minds to deal with real-world problems.

As she embarks on her freshman year, Ellis plans to excel in softball and secure a college scholarship. She is working towards realizing her dream of becoming an obstetrician-gynecologist. Ellis personifies the transformative power of STEM education and is an inspiration for the youth in her community. She is a beacon of hope, illuminating the infinite potential within every young mind.