Local 15-year-old with Raynaud’s Disease unveils invention to battle disorder

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE)- Anthony Wilds, a 15-year-old from Pawtucket, has created his own invention to alleviate his almost constant symptoms of Raynaud’s Disease.

Alongside the New England Medical Innovation Center, the sophomore at the Metropolitan Regional Career and Technical Center unveiled his product known as “HotBandz.” This product serves as a heated band wrapped around the forearm and promotes circulation in the extremities.

“You actually feel the blood travelling outside of your fingertips,” said Wilds. “It sends sharp pains, almost like pins and needles, but times a thousand.”

Raynaud’s Disease causes the small arteries in the extremities to narrow, decreasing blood flow and making it difficult to complete daily tasks. About 5-10% of Americans are affected by this condition, according to NEMIC.

Wilds, often having to hold his hands under hot water for extended periods of time, explained, “I’m a high school student who needs time to finish schoolwork and stuff like that… while I’m just sitting hot water, other people are doing things for me, and I feel like I’m just useless in that moment.”

Sick of the everyday student, the Pawtucket native took matters into his own hands, showing off ‘HotBandz’ at regional and national entrepreneurship competitions, and also catching the eye of NEMIC. 

“We take medical technology start-ups wherever they are, and we help get them to somewhere where they are achieving their vision and what they want to do,” said Elena Iemma, Marketing and Business Associate for NEMIC. She continues, “I was doing this at 15… creating pitch decks, testing plans, and all of this stuff. 

“HotBandz” is still in the preliminary stages of patenting and prototypes, set out to help those with the same disorder.

“I want to distribute it in pharmaceutical companies and occupational therapist companies so it can be another form of heat therapy,” explained Wilds.

He concluded, “This is my field, this is my new career for real.”

Categories: News, Pawtucket, Providence, Regional News, Rhode Island