Helping patients and aged care residents to stand is all in a day’s work for many healthcare workers - but it comes at a cost, with nursing assistants suffering one of the highest rates of work-related musculoskeletal injuries.
A solution is now available thanks to a new medical device supported by the Medical Device Partnering Program, the ‘U-Stand Frame’. The lightweight and portable frame, an invention of Innovo Healthcare, is giving independence back to the patient, allowing them to control the timing, speed and mechanics of their sit-to- stand movement.
Allan Perriam, Managing Director of Innovo Healthcare and a practising nurse, developed the product as a result of his own experiences caring for those with difficulties standing. His concept addressed a gap in the market for a simple cost effective solution that better aids carers in transferring the patient from sitting to standing positions.
The MDPP supported Allan by undertaking a multi-site trial in aged-care and hospital facilities to validate the practical use of the frame and obtain important patient feedback on design features. The team also provided specialist engineering advice and made a number of introductions to manufacturers, intellectual property
specialists and potential funders.
When describing the partnership with the MDPP Allan says, “The MDPP has thus far been the best value for money we have spent to date. We secured detailed market reports of significant insight and on our behalf, the MDPP have also developed and implemented a clinical trial to validate our technology with potential end-users.”
The trial also resulted in pre-orders of the U-Stand Frame. “These vital steps of market analysis and clinical validation have given us impetus to take our product overseas and we are already in talks with two of the largest distribution companies in the U.S,” said Allan.
From the 2-year partnership with the MDPP, Innovo Healthcare also received engineering support, access to academic and industry experts and media exposure.
The ability to access and leverage the MDPP’s broad network is hugely valuable for start-ups in particular.
“It is my firm belief that had we not received such support from the MDPP, our project would have taken considerably longer and cost significantly more to bring to market,” says Allan.
Mr Perriam returned to the MDPP in 2016 with another assistive technology device, taking the original U Stand Frame concept one step further.