April 26, 2016 | Written by: Ethan Schur
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I’m a parent, so I know that other parents experience a shared battle twice a day, every day. We fight to get our kids to brush their teeth.
Even when we win the battle, we wonder if our kids are doing it right. Did they brush long enough? Did they cover every area of their mouth? Did they actually brush their teeth, or did they just wet the toothbrush to make us think they did?
Unfortunately, we don’t get answers to these questions until our child’s twice yearly visit to the dentist rolls around, and by then, it’s often too late. A cavity has already started to form.
That’s why Team Grush created the smart toothbrush that transforms the chore of brushing into a fun and interactive game for kids while enabling parents to track and reward results.
And we did it all on Bluemix, the IBM Cloud development platform.
From entrepreneur to reality TV stars
We started as a group of entrepreneurs with a great idea. With the help of IBM—through both IBM Cloud technology, as well as getting mentoring and making connections through the Global Entrepreneur program for startups—we’ve taken our smart toothbrush to the next level. We’ve found a national platform to tell the world about it.
We are excited to be competing on Mark Burnett and Intel’s new reality competition show, America’s Greatest Makers. The competition began on April 5 with 24 teams in contention for a $1 million grand prize. We are now in the top 5. I’m thrilled Team Grush is still in the running.
A peek behind the scenes
What the television series won’t show you is the behind-the-scenes look at the tools powering Grush’s innovative smart toothbrush, the Grush Dental Cloud, so I want to give you peek at the IBM Cloud technology that makes our solution possible.
We developed the Grush Dental Cloud on IBM Bluemix, leveraging APIs including Watson Analytics. In an API-driven development world, having so many APIs (including cognitive, Internet of Things (IoT) and analytics) at our fingertips gives us a huge advantage. We were able to quickly develop and connect our solution to the toothbrush itself, which is part of a network. The Intel Curie Module in the Grush uses advanced pattern matching, which receives data from, and sends data back to the IBM Cloud, where it is analyzed in real time to create an interactive gaming experience via smartphones and tablets.
IBM Cloud receives more than 10,000 data sets from Grush each day, showing exactly how and when users brush their teeth (all the way down to the individual tooth). Parents can review the data and even choose to send it to their children’s dentists, giving them greater insight into their patients’ brushing habits.
This data can make a big difference for dentists, who typically only get data through semiannual exams. Having so much insight can change the way dentists guide and advise their patients.
Catapulted through the IBM Global Entrepreneur program
As part of the IBM Global Entrepreneur program, we’ve gotten access to much more than cloud services; we have world-class technical support, respected business mentors and go-to-market support for our business. IBM even gave us personalized coaching which really helped us refine our pitch, and cloud architecture, in preparation for the show.
We hope you’ll tune in and follow us as we compete with other great entrepreneurs. Tune into America’s Greatest Makers every Tuesday at 9:30 p.m. (8:30 p.m. CT), or visit TBS.com to watch full episodes.