Robert Herjavec is best known for spotting the next big business idea as one of the sharks on ABC’s “Shark Tank, but recently he set out to discover a different set of innovative ideas.
My mom passed away from ovarian cancer in 2007, and it was really a hard time, Herjavec told FoxNews.com. And so this was a chance to get involved with technology that can aid oncology and patient care.
It was through caring for his mother that Herjavec decided to partner with Astellas Oncology and become a judge for their C3Prize program, a contest designed to inspire novel, non-medicine ideas to improve cancer care for patients. In September 2016 at the Stanford Medicine X conference, five finalists were selected to pitch their ideas to Herjavec and a panel of experts.
We saw everything from a ride-sharing program for people with cancer to a light source product, so there was a lot of stuff that really made peoples lives easier, Herjavec said.
One of the first prize winners, Larry Pederson, of Seattle, Washington, co-founded The Litebook Company, which created a light technology to help patients suffering from exhaustion.
When you go through chemotherapy, you get highly fatigued, and it changes your mood and depression, Herjavec said. You hold [the Litebook] to the side of your head, and it gives you radiation and light, and it helps with fatigue, and theres actually a commercial application of it for jet lag.