A young entrepreneur is making strides to help those who suffer from food allergies.
Joey DiGangi, a recent Juniata College graduate as well as CEO and founder of AssureTech LLC, has been receiving support from Startup Alleghenies, a free program for central Pennsylvania entrepreneurs, to further develop the EpiCenter Mobile App and Device.
“They’ve been incredibly supportive,” said DiGangi.
EpiCenter is designed for sufferers of food allergies that helps them navigate dangerous situations by notifying local emergency services during an allergic reaction.
DiGangi, a longtime food allergy sufferer, had begun developing what would become EpiCenter during his time at Juniata, officially forming AssureTech during his senior year of college, but was spurred on to hone the app while he was working for Kdan Mobile in Taiwan shortly after his graduation in 2018.
“While I was there, I had a life-threatening allergic reaction due to a miscommunication. I was very lucky. The company I was working for took me to a hospital that took good care of me,” he said.
He didn’t speak Taiwanese, but thankfully was able to get the help he needed.
Besides alerting emergency services, the current iteration of the app interfaces with the person’s auto-injector, like an EpiPen, and can translate instructions for its use into 35 languages so that if the person suffering from an allergic reaction can’t administer the shot themselves someone on hand can follow the instruction and assist them.
“While in the hospital bed I started taking an inventory of everything that they did for me that I couldn’t do for myself. And that inventory became all the things that I put into the app,” said DiGangi.
Determined to fulfill his vision, he taught himself how to code.
“I would watch tutorial video after tutorial video to build the AssureTech video app,” he said.
Another feature is that Uber is integrated into the app to more easily locate and schedule rides to the hospital.
AssureTech LLC, is currently operating out of the Juniata College Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership and Development (JCCEL) and is working on improve the work he’s already accomplished.
“We’re working with Startup Alleghenies to develop a prototype of a device that attaches to the EpiPen to tell you when you lose it. Always having one with you is very important when you have this type of condition,” said DiGangi.
“The grander vision is a more advanced software that in addition notifies 911 and sends an emergency message out to your designated contact,” he added.
The hope is to provide a greater ease of mind for sufferers of food allergies and their loved ones, and ultimately, to save lives.
Nathan can be reached at email@example.com.