Updated January 26 at 10:26am

These bracelets could be life-savers

By Patrick Anderson
PBN Staff Writer

When he founded HealthID Profile Inc., Angelo Pitassi Jr. saw medical-identification bracelets as an underserved niche market within the large and lucrative world of health care products. More

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These bracelets could be life-savers

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When he founded HealthID Profile Inc., Angelo Pitassi Jr. saw medical-identification bracelets as an underserved niche market within the large and lucrative world of health care products.

But when he began thinking more seriously about the problem medical bracelets are made to solve – alerting potential caregivers to chronic medical conditions – Pitassi realized they were also part of the broader personal-health-information market now being transformed by digital technology.

In the long run, Pitassi expects personal medical information will be stored and transmitted to doctors electronically, instead of on bracelets or wallet cards.

With its customizable, low-cost medical bracelets, HealthID hopes to use a winning physical product to become a player in the business of helping patients manage their health.

“Eventually everything will be accessible through your mobile device,” Pitassi said. “The physical products are a conduit. The true value is what is stored in the cloud and accessed from an app. The smartphone is going to be key.”

With a background in the jewelry industry, Pitassi, of Cranston, became aware of the medical-bracelet market when his son, Angelo III, was diagnosed with diabetes in 2006 and was required to wear one.

Over the next few years, Pitassi was dismayed at both the price and quality of the offerings available and decided he could make something better.

“We found we would go through [bracelets] very quickly – the stainless-steel plates where the information is printed and engraved would wear out and be illegible,” Pitassi said. “There was never anything unique about them and I wondered how they could ask for this type of money, $30 for a basic one and more for anything personalized.”

At the time Pitassi was winding down Apitaz LLC, which had sold excess brand-name jewelry at a discount, but his knowledge of jewelry manufacturing convinced him he could make a more fashionable medical bracelet than what existed, at a lower price.

He started from the fashion end and designed bracelets in different styles, many appealing to children, with attachable charms.

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