With New Calendar App, Owaves Takes First Step to Healthy Lifestyle

5/13/14Follow @bvbigelow

To Royan Kamyar, the first line of defense against heart disease, obesity, diabetes, anxiety, and a litany of other modern ills is to take better care of yourself. And taking care of yourself, Kamyar says, involves five major ingredients: sleeping right; eating well; exercising regularly; mindful meditation (i.e., actively managing your stress); and making time for your loved ones and social life.

Kamyar, a San Diego entrepreneur and medical doctor, says he gets this advice straight from the American College of Preventive Medicine (ACPM), a nonprofit based in Washington, DC, that works to improve public health through disease prevention programs, and through scientific and systems-based approaches to improving health and healthcare.

Yet Kamyar contends there is a widespread lack of innovation and tools that ordinary people can use to change their unhealthy habits and adopt healthier lifestyles.

In an effort to get folks to understand that the root of their ills lies in their sedentary lifestyle, Kamyar founded San Diego-based Owaves to help people make the transition to a healthier standard of living.

Owaves logo 2Changing America’s “diabesity” culture is an enormous challenge, but a journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step. In this case, the first step is the Owaves app, which recently became available in the iTunes store as a free productivity app for the Apple iPad. Owaves plans to follow-up with an app for the iPhone as well.

The app is a relatively simple day planner for organizing your calendar, using an infographic wheel chart to help users visualize each 24-hour period. At the same time, the Owaves software represents a way to help Americans change the way they think about their lifestyle by incorporating the five ACPM-recommended ingredients to optimize personal health and wellness.

Royan Kamyar

Royan Kamyar

To Kamyar, it’s simply a matter of redefining time, or at least how we use it. “Time really hasn’t changed much,” he says. Owaves “is like time 2.0.”

Kamyar, who self-funded Owaves since he started the company a year ago, recruited a French iOS development firm to improve the design and create a proof-of-concept prototype.

“We think Owaves works because it is simple,” developer Thomas Castel wrote in an e-mail from France. “It is also what makes it different from its competitors: it has a few options that can be used to describe any kind of day. It is a simple tool that fits any user and that still remains easy and focused.”

To generate revenue, Kamyar says he intends to develop premium versions of the Owaves app that would incorporate celebrity workout routines and training schedules developed by prominent athletes and trainers. He also set out to develop wearable devices that use a native Owaves app, which would enable users to monitor their schedule “so it’s personalized and centered around your health and wellness goals,” Kamyar says.

Using off-the-shelf components, Owaves worked with the Carlsbad, CA-based industrial design firm DD Studios to develop a prototype smartwatch as a proof-of-concept device. But in meetings with Qualcomm Ventures (NASDAQ: QCOM), Sony mobile (NYSE: SNE) and Samsung, Kamyar says he came to understand that a better strategy would be to advance Owaves’ software as a native app, and to establish strategic partnerships with hardware manufacturers. By adopting a model like Boston-based RunKeeper, Kamyar says Owaves could develop Owaves apps for a variety of iOS and Android devices. Kamyar says the prospects in the burgeoning wireless health sector are compelling, and he’s adjusting Owaves’ strategic priorities accordingly.

The long-term goal, in other words, is to use wireless health devices to help users monitor a new set of measurements for health and wellness—including sleep, exercise, and meditation—and perhaps even the food we eat.

As part of that quest, Kamyar has enrolled in the beta class of San Diego’s HardTech Labs, a new accelerator program that’s intended to provide hardware startups with access to low-cost manufacturers across the border in Tijuana, Mexico. HardTech Labs’ Derek Footer hopes to provide some financing for participating startups, although that is far from certain. In any case, Kamyar says he’s just beginning now to raise seed funding for the company.

Bruce V. Bigelow is the editor of Xconomy San Diego. You can e-mail him at bbigelow@xconomy.com or call (619) 669-8788 Follow @bvbigelow

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