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From woes to prosperity

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By Muhammad Amin
Tue, 10, 21

Pakistani healthtech entrepreneur, Eesha Sheikh, turns her woes into wealth with PlayPal Inc. She also represented Pakistani women in the Forbes Next 1000 list, which is a globally coveted list among entrepreneurs. You! takes a look…

From woes to prosperity

They say that one’s integrity, misery builds character. Moreover, a person’s ability to adapt and to overcome a situation inflicted upon them is what brings them out on top. One such individual who managed to overcome her circumstances is Eesha Sheikh. A Pakistani woman featured in Forbes, whose healthtech application of technology for health and medicine related projects, PlayPal Inc., has come up with solutions for all the problems she once faced as a child, and more.

As a child, Eesha suffered bullying and was not considered ‘cool’ enough among her peers in school. She was called mean names and was pushed to brinks of loneliness instead of being in a place where she could grow better and develop her personality that would instil in her self-confidence.

From woes to prosperity

20 years later, enduring bullying and transforming herself from a child suffering from clinical obesity into a young healthy individual, Sheikh has put together a setup that helps individuals, not much different from her childhood version. This idea, sparked by her father, helped transform her as well.

Have you ever struggled with achieving health and fitness targets? So did Eesha. Rather than wallowing in her own misery, she took a different route to encourage people. She made these targets so inspiring that more than workout and physical grinding, consumers find it entertaining. And, that’s what Eesha conceived and materialised. PlayPal Inc. is a gamified health platform that gives its clients a game-like workout regimen with a customised health profile, artificial intelligence-driven health advice, and digital rewards upon completion of the game targets.

“I’d rather have things made easier for people as life is already fraught with challenges,” enthuses Eesha. Not only did this young innovator inspire those who suffered and encouraged them to never stop believing in themselves; but she also represented Pakistani women in the Forbes Next 1000 list, which is a globally coveted list among entrepreneurs.

Why the gamifying approach?

Eesha elaborates how her life was fraught with bullying. As a child, she was diagnosed with clinical obesity: a condition that becomes a gateway for many illnesses and also deformities. According to her, this runs rampant in her family. She was demeaned and humiliated for she was a fat child. This constant shaming deprived her of any hope and instead of trying to change for the better; she conceded and cracked under all the bullying she was targeted by.

From woes to prosperity

But then, her father became her silver lining, as she puts it. “He challenged me to lose weight to earn toys and treats. This was the best deal for me and I took to it.” Her extensive transformation soon transpired and for good. It was not only limited to her appearance; she became more confident, much like the person she is now by believing in her struggles. She went on to develop a digital platform that would employ all the state of the art technology at human disposal and turn it into her father’s brainchild: PlayPal Inc. (a digital web and mobile application).

How does it operate?

Powered by artificial intelligence and high-end tech, this app uses machine learning to help personalise health recommendations for its users, then offers rewards for hitting certain goals, both within the internal game of the app as well as external rewards.

The one-of-a-kind pitch, ‘gamifying health targets’ has mustered over $2 million as seed money from moguls and giants in the Silicon Valley. They are convinced their funds are put to a good cause and a lucrative one.

Eesha ensures that her platform is compliant with the United States Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) that make sure the data of her healthtech clients remains safe without any chance of a breach or violation of confidentiality.

From woes to prosperity

According to their website, Playpal aims to become the biggest connected health system and health profiling with the most secure and largest central health data repository system. Also that the data gathered from clients can help insurance companies, government bodies, and hospitals, etc. make better and tailored policies to suit one’s individual needs.

The use of AI, internet of things (IoT), and block chain technology (your data is not going to be compromised come what may) guarantees three things. Your profile should you make it on the platform, will keep building on the data automatically based on your activity and your digital footprint. All the latest gadgets and technology you use or become part of, the PlayPal account serves as a central hub to foster better integration and coordination. It tracks cognitive and physical data using IoT’s and third-party integrations.

All the fun and games

The idea behind using games to lure in people for their health and lifestyle transformation by fusing art and technology also destigmatises gaming and challenges stereotypes. ‘Keeko Health Game’ is their flagship game. Keeko is a classic game where the eponymous protagonist with her friends fights their temptation against unhealthy food. Oh, and there’s an evil Doughnut that rules their world which they fight against.

Users are encouraged to remain healthy and for that end, the game offers them to earn Fitcoins. It’s a currency that allows you in-game transactions. You can upgrade characters, unlock levels, and sign up for the premium features of the game by meeting the step-count targets. One thing about Fitcoins is that they can also be converted into crypto-tokens with a prorated point conversion mechanism that too via the Playpal platform. This offers the clients the chance at real-life rewards.

Another Playpal game is ‘Bon Bon Jump’. It’s derived from the original Keeko game, except it’s more fun. It has more or less a similar setting but with more acts and stunts but the difference being it contains no proper storyline.

One more game the platform offers is ‘Iggy Skate’, a classic single-tap adventure skating setting. It features Iggy Skateboard Epic City comprising two settings: city and a forest. The skating simulator takes players to a skate park where they can do grinds, tricks, and flips. Gamers practice tricks like feel flips, kick flips, backflips, rail grinds, and nose manuals. For each stunt performed rightly, gamers earn a score and can even earn a multiplier if the streak is maintained without a fall.

From woes to prosperity

It all began with an idea

There’s no doubt devastating experiences like abuse have a detrimental impact on a person’s life. But even so, do people who become successful rise up despite or because of that adversity? Actor and Motivational speaker Kevin Hart very rightly said that ‘if you give up at the first sign of struggle, you’re really not ready to be successful.’ Eesha found her path from woes to prosperity as she didn’t give up in the face of struggles. “No matter what, never stop believing in yourself and your power. As women we need to continuously keep passing the baton for an inclusive, diverse and equal playing field. Together, let us conquer; let us rise and let us break barriers. Let’s be limitless,” she concludes.