Wearable sensor that detects diseases such as Covid-19


Her smart wearable sensors monitor human performance and health. The innovation is aimed at helping companies detect if one of their employees has symptoms that may be a risk of health, COVID-19 being one of them.


The Cape Town based sport biotech company, 3DIMO, has been working towards launching a smart-wearable that will monitor body temperature, heart-rate and fatigue levels or stress levels so that it gets actionable statistics that can easily help, especially companies detect if one of their employees as symptoms that may be have health risks.


With a special focus on sport, the company wants to help sports clubs educe the financial losses due to injuries, and reduce athlete injury rehabilitation. The data insight that 3DIMO collects is able to get and model could help in having tailor-made insurance plans for elite sport athletes.


3DIMO is provides actionable data insights to predict and prevent sport injury risk through the development smart hardware and interactive sport data visualization software, giving real-time insights on athlete performance and helping clubs with business and technical intelligence to optimize performance and reduce injury risk.


The company’s founder, Nneile Nkholise, says although her company has been affected by the

COVID-19 pandemic because sports team had to go into lock down to help flatten the curve on new infections, she believes that the best of entrepreneurs are not those with a high intellectual quotient but those with a high adversity quotient to thrive through turbulent times.


She was an ambassador of the presidency as one of the community of young people that would be

activist of the National Development Plan of 2030.


The Thaba Nchu born entrepreneur was also recognized by the World Economic Forum as the

top female innovator in Africa in 2016.


Her business

Nneile launched her career in 2011 as a mechanical engineer at the Free State’s Public

Works Department, before founding iMed Tech in 2015. Her work at iMed Tech in CAD and

additive manufacturing in breast prosthesis earned Nkholise several awards, including

Forbes 30 Under 30 and the presidential award for Science, Innovation and Technology at the

South African Youth Awards in 2017.


“I started 3DIMO from the lessons I learnt from my previous startup and from my experience of working in sport and playing basketball,” she explains.

She started 3DIMO with an idea to create pre-surgical planning models (which were

either digital or 3d printed) to support Orthopedic surgeons with surgery planning to

help speed up surgery time, reduce cost of surgery and also increase accuracy of surgery.


Her company partnered with some few Orthopedic surgeons to help with pre-surgical

models, and it was while doing this work that she picked up that professional sports athletes

left their injuries until too late.


“They would incur a minor injury and ignore it and still play with the injury for a prolonged

time until the injury affects a large region of the body and becomes very severe,” she explains.

It was at this point that the idea to create injury sensing wearable software to predict in real

time injury risk potential.


From her own experience she took a step further and added features in the product that allow them to predict performance targets of athletes based on the sport they play, position, physical attributes.

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Editor's note

If there is a lesson to be taken from theCovid-19 pandemic is that nothing is certain. And when you think you are ready for the unknown it takes you completely by shock.

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