Sat | Dec 3, 2016

Talking safety - Jamaica-born doctor develops SenseHud

Published:Sunday | January 25, 2015 | 12:00 AM

Erica Virtue, Senior Gleaner Writer

Jamaica-born medical doctor Kingsley Chin is a renowned orthopaedic surgeon based in the United States, especially known for his expertise with non-invasive surgical procedures to correct spinal injuries.

The Portland-raised Chin earned his MD from Harvard Medical School. However, it is his Bachelor of Science in Engineering and Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics from Columbia University that he has been utilising to develop and promote modern technologies for safer driving on the busy roads of the United States, and soon, Jamaica.

 Bachelor of Science in Engineering
and Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics from Columbia University that he has
been utilising to develop and promote modern technologies for safer
driving on the busy roads of the United States, and soon,
Jamaica.

Chin found out accidentally that one of his
employees, graphics designer Mike Amuru, was well advanced in producing a
device that would reduce road crashes in the United States. This was
after Amuru suffered injuries in a crash when the other motorist was
paying more attention to the phone than the
road.

Eureka moment

Amuru, who
designed store window displays, stumbled on a device which projected
images on walls through a process, and with results he found
interesting. Very much the entrepreneur, he took it to his then boss,
who wasn't impressed. Still, Amuru did not shelve the idea, and when he
responded to an advertisement for a graphics designer at Chin's private
equity company, KICVentures, which builds companies investing in ideas,
the seeds of an idea long sown would germinate.

It
would grow to become the SenseHud (heads-up device), one of the more
popular devices with drivers in the US who are inseparable from their
cell phones. Chin and Amuru's eureka moment came when, after completing
the device, it actually worked, and now some car dealers in the US are
pre-installing SenseHud in the vehicles they sell.

"We
shopped around with some ideas (for names) before we settled on Sense,
for sensible, and Hud is heads-up device. So we have SenseHud. And it
has everything to do with finding a device that would allow you to
project what's on your phone screen when driving, something that is
voice-activated, which would keep your eyes on the road and your hands
on the wheel," Chin told Automotives in an interview
from Florida last week.

Describing the device to
Automotives, Chin said: "It's mirror angled about 45
degrees, and if you can put your phone there, you see the reflection in
the mirror. It's completely voice-activated. You take the SenseHud,
which is the device, you put your phone in there with your screen up,
then you put the mirror angled above your phone so you are looking at
the mirror, which is showing what's on your phone," said a pleased Chin,
as he extolled the virtues of the merger of his partnership with Amuru
and his education in medicine, mathematics and
engineering.

According to Chin, "All these states (in
the US) are banning texting and driving because there is so much carnage
on the roads. It's a big problem. The heads-up display is seen as the
way to solve that."

SenseHud has already found favour
with at least one Jamaican legislator, Member of Parliament Fitz
Jackson. Its timely emergence saw SenseHud being part of parliamentary
discussions last year on amendments to the Road Traffic Act.

"There was awareness of the device during
deliberations on the amendments to the Road Traffic Act. We feel that
the technology will allow for greater concentration on the roads,"
Jackson told Automotives.

Road
fatalities

Last year, more than 300 persons lost their
lives on Jamaica's roads. In 2013, road fatalities increased by 13 per
cent over 2102. Injuries from road accidents account for a significant
percentage of hospitalisation, physiotherapy and orthopaedic cases in
local hospitals.

Chin believes SenseHud will also find
its way in operating theatres.

"I saw this device in
the operating room. Surgeons can take the device, put their phones in
there and keep connected rather than be out of commission for five, six
hours during surgeries," he said.

Dr Kingsley Chin is
entrepreneur, investor, surgeon and inventor who has built multiple
symbiotic companies in the health-tech sector. KICVentures was founded
in 2005 and quickly, Chin sold his first portfolio company, MANTIS Inc
to Stryker. Under his leadership, KICVentures' companies are profitable
and have generated over US$100 million.

Chin has
worked for Accenture Management Consulting (formerly Arthur Andersen),
where he gained experience in management consulting. He also spent time
at Cigna Insurance and on Wall Street at Goldman Sachs, developing
information technology solutions. He credits those formative experiences
with inspiring his passion for business and health
technology.