Indiana has a rich presence of medical device, pharmaceutical, and other life science companies. There is also a surprising number of startups and entrepreneurs in this space. On April 25, 2013, Catherine Tanner, one of Indiana’s life science entrepreneurs, will share her story with INpact, a medical device networking group. Be sure to RSVP.
INpact is trying something new in February–an evening event at a cool space known as the Speak Easy. A local vascular surgeon, Dr. George Akingba will be speaking to the group, sharing some of his work and thoughts on healthcare.
Plenty of opportunities to network. Oh, and pizza and beer with your admission.
WellPlay Health, LLC, a start-up based in Bloomington (IN), seeking to change how patients and therapists work together during rehabilitation by providing a more engaging, collaborative, and user-centered solutions intended to maximize the patient’s recovery. The company is currently developing WellPlay: Rehab, an online platform featuring tele-health tools and games designed to achieve therapy outcomes for physical and cognitive functioning. This platform represents a significant innovation in tele-rehabilitation and the use of game technology.
While there are several health conditions that will ultimately benefit from WellPlay: Rehab, the initial application of this technology will be in brain injury rehabilitation (i.e., stroke and traumatic brain injury). This innovative platform utilizes expertise in game design, rehabilitation therapy, motion detection technologies, tele-health strategies, and social support tools to create a unique environment for supporting physical and occupational therapists in guiding and monitoring the patient.
Maximum recovery of daily activities and reducing re-admission rates for brain injury-related complications (including falling) is dependent on a longer-term, exercise-based therapy. That therapy begins while the patient is in the inpatient setting and usually continues after discharge where they will periodically meet with a therapist at either an outpatient clinic, skilled nursing facility, or in the patient’s home. In between these visits, the therapist will recommend or prescribe exercises to be performed by the patient on their own. Since a typical patient has limited health insurance coverage for rehabilitation services, therapists must rely on the patient complying with these exercises to assist in their recovery. Unfortunately, research data on compliance with these exercises indicate that most patients will not or cannot persist on their own. In fact, only 31 percent of patients actually perform these exercises as prescribed (Shaughnessy 2006). A large multi-state study in the Midwest identified the lack of patient compliance and limitations on outpatient clinic visits (and hence, monitoring) imposed by insurance policies as the top two challenges in stroke rehabilitation (GLRSN 2008).
WellPlay: Rehab platform provides both an entertaining context and an effective feedback mechanism to properly guide the patient through home-based exercises prescribed by his/her therapist. Meaningful data are captured from game play and shared with both patient and therapist to provide the necessary feedback on progress being made.
Rehabilitation games, designed in collaboration with physical and occupational therapists, will enable patients to achieve such outcomes as balance, coordination, endurance, strength, range of motion, and cognition. Progress toward these outcomes will lay the foundation enabling the patient to achieve functional and transitional goals identified by his/her therapist. As the patient works toward their goals, they will be guided from game-to-game through activities designed to incorporate the therapy necessary to achieve these goals.
A second key feature is WellPlay: Rehab’s ability to function as a tele-health platform. During game play, WellPlay: Rehab observes, measures, and evaluates specific motor movements within each game, as well as capture data such as frequency and duration of movement. The data captured during game play is made available to the patient’s therapist to allow for remote monitoring and communication with the patient. The therapists is then capable of evaluating progress, making necessary adjustments, and determining when they should next meet in person; thus, minimizing the frequency such visits must take place, enhancing access while adding convenience and lowering cost.
Finally, our solution will leverage multi-player game play to enhance the social support component of a patient’s rehabilitation. Existing game consoles enable multi-player, online game play. We will leverage these features so patients may socialize, compete, and/or rehabilitate together.
- Rehab Games. Suites of games designed to achieve functional outcomes for upper and lower extremities.
- Therapist Portal. The portal provides a toolset that enables access to and use of data collected during game play. Functionality includes:
- Patient Assessment Module
- Treatment Module
- Progress Module
- Reporting System
- Group Tele-Health. Game play is enhanced to provide the necessary social support structure during rehabilitation. Patients can play and/or compete with fellow patients, family members and friends while rehabilitating.
- Establishing Best Practices and Decision Support. Frequent game play from a large pool of patients will generate data that will be used to inform the therapist’s selection of games or combination of games that achieve the best outcomes.
- Secure Tele-Health within a Game Environment. Necessary security protocols and safeguards are in place to enable the secure transmission and storage of personal health information via online gaming sites.
- Pete Grogg, MHA – Chief Executive. Pete leads WellPlay Heath’s strategic direction and the development and management of company’s strategic partnerships. He brings 23 years of health care management experience in both inpatient and outpatient settings. His areas of expertise include health care delivery, consumer health technologies, health information technologies, and health information exchange.
- Hamid Ekbia, PhD – Chief Scientist. Hamid leads the development of research objectives supporting the strategic direction of our company, its products, and services. He also serves as the point of contact with all academic partnerships and initiatives intended to broaden our knowledge and talent base and future product development. Hamid’s background is in computer, cognitive, and information sciences. More recently, Hamid has applied his knowledge in human-computer interaction to the technical advances in health information technology as Associate Professor at Indiana University’s School of Library and Information Science and Director of the Center for Research on Mediated Interaction.
- Doug Bennett – President. Doug will be directing operations and business development activities while contributing significantly to the strategic direction of both product and company. He brings two decades of experience in financial management, strategy development, and business development to the WellPlay Health team.
- T.J. Deckard – Chief Architect. TJ has over 13 years experience of development experience in leading teams in the design, development, deployment of applications and technologies in the health care and financial industries.
For more information, please visit us at www.wellplayhealth.com
So if Lilly’s CEO John Lechleiter says Indiana needs to establish a world class research institute for life sciences, should resources in the state make it happen?
I’m still thinking about this, to be honest. Should Indiana play in the life science research space? Does the state have the right resources to make this successful?
You can read more of his comments at MedCity News.
Seems like a knee jerk reaction to me. But I’m just a medical device guy–not a pharma guy.
Recently, we created a few new webpages to provide references and useful information pertaining to medical devices. We make an effort to keep these pages up to date every couple weeks. Just letting you know the following pages have just been updated with fresh content for your reading pleasure:
I’ve been reading quite a few blogs and articles about investment funding in the medical device industry. All reports seem to point to things being better than they’ve ever been–at least in recent years. And if I believe what I read, the Midwest, especially Indiana, is leading the pack. I plan to write more about this soon. I just have more research to do first.
Here’s what I do know:
- I’m not aware of any Indiana-based medical device startups who have received venture funding any time recently.
- Typical Indiana funding channels and resources for medical device seem to be very quiet and inactive.
What insights do you have on medical device venture funding?
July 31 is approaching quickly but still not here yet. That means you still have time to submit your application to the BioCrossroads Venture Competition. This is a contest for emerging life science companies and technologies.
You do not need a complete business plan to apply. In fact, the application process is pretty straightforward and does not take make time at all (I know because we applied for UniDoc).
If you are selected as a finalist, you will have to submit a business plan by August 24, 2012. The winners will be announced at the October 22, 2012 Indiana Life Sciences Summit.
Is it worth applying? First prize $25K. Second is $15K and third $10K.
I’m working with a disposable medical device company based in central Indiana who is in need of at least one full-time resource in regulatory affairs / quality assurance. The ideal candidate should have at least 5 years medical device experience with a primary emphasis on regulatory, preferably U.S. and outside U.S. (including EU, Canada, South America).
If you or someone you know is interested, please contact me directly at 765 315 2736 or via email.
Do you have a great med tech idea and need someone to fund it? Perhaps BioCrossroads can help you with your venture.
BioCrossroads Inc. has raised an $8.25 million seed fund in its second attempt to help fledgling life sciences companies grow to the point where they can attract venture capital or a corporate funder. The Indiana Seed Fund II LLC was kicked off in late 2010 when Eli Lilly and Co. agreed to invest. Also chipping in are Indianapolis-based health insurer WellPoint Inc., Indiana University’s Research Technology Corp., Purdue University, the University of Notre Dame, the Richard M. Fairbanks Foundation and BioCrossroads’ own for-profit arm.
“It takes a long, long time in many cases to get these companies where they need to go,” says BioCrossroads President and Chief Executive Officer David Johnson. “This fund is designed to coax researchers who have always wanted to do this, to think big, to take a big risk and know there are going to be other people there to meet them halfway and invest in the company they’re trying to get started.”
“The market can be a very cruel place, and there are a lot of good ideas that wind up dying for lack of funding,” says Joe Hornett, leader of the Purdue Research Foundation (PRF), which funds the school’s research efforts, ”I hope some of those good ideas that, otherwise, might wind up on the laboratory floor now make their way into the marketplace, and indeed, into the lives of consumers—particularly in the life sciences market, where health is improved and lives are saved. It’s absolutely critical.”
So, no more excuses. If you have a great idea, there are people who are willing to help you make it a reality.
Bloomington, Indiana, has one of the most significant clusters of medical-device and life-science companies in the nation. Bloomington is home to industry giants such as Cook Medical, the world’s largest privately held medical device maker, which specializes in minimally invasive surgical devices that allow doctors to operate on patients who are too high-risk for major surgery.
Also in Bloomington is the startup Morris Innovative, which has designed an FDA-approved medical device that uses a futuristic new bio-tissue (created by Cook Biotech) to help patients heal faster.
Other examples of innovation abound: Indiana University pediatric surgeon Mark Rodefeld has invented a tiny pump that keeps a newborn’s blood oxygenated while surgeons repair the heart of a child born with a single ventricle. Aeon Imaging has developed a laser-scanning digital camera that uses near infrared light to see past cataracts and detect underlying eye diseases.
I live only 20 minutes from Bloomington, and have lived here for most of my life, and I am ashamed to admit, I had no idea.
I recently saw an advertisement for ChooseNoblesville.com making the statement that Noblesville, IN (a suburb of Indy) is home to 4 of the largest Indianapolis area medical device and medical product developers. This claim caught my curiosity. I could think of a couple of medical device companies in Noblesville but not four. So I just had to ask who.
Are these companies really 4 of the largest Indianapolis area medical device companies?
I had a call earlier this week from Mary. Mary started her career in the medical device industry. Several years ago, she put her career on hold to raise her kids. Now that Mary’s kids are older, she has an interest in getting back into the medical device field. Mary started networking in her local business community. Several of the contacts she made suggested that Mary contact Creo Quality for what to do next.
I’m glad Mary called. We’re happy to help. Interestingly, Mary’s question was one we’ve heard many times before. It just hit me that since Mary and others have had this question, maybe I should spend a little bit of time writing down my response for others to review too.
Mary is interested in networking and meeting medical device professionals in Indiana. I suggested that she check out the following:
- INpact – A network of medical device service providers. INpact’s program is structured around issues around medical device product development. Monthly events are attended by service providers (such as designers, engineering firms, regulatory, quality, intellectual property), inventors, entrepreneurs, and startups.
- Indiana Biomedical Entrepreneur Network (IBEN) – Monthly events feature topics pertaining to medical device / life science startups. Attendees include inventors, entrepreneurs, startups, service providers, and investors.
- Indiana Medical Device Manufacturers Council (IMDMC) – Frequent events typically focused on FDA-related medical device issues. Attendees are typically comprised of Indiana’s medical device manufactuers.
- Indiana Health Industry Forum (IHIF) – Monthly lunch events draw larger crowd but attendees represent a much broader spectrum of backgrounds. Plus, IHIF caters more to life sciences industry as a whole rather than just medical devices.
- BioCrossroads – They host and sponsor a few events throughout the year. Again, like IHIF, BioCrossroads has a wider scope of life sciences and has historically skewed more towards pharmaceuticals.
I also shared with Mary that we try to post many of these events on the CQ blog.
There is a new local program to help the entrepreneur learn about business plan development.
The Franklin Development Corporation (“FDC”), a Franklin-based non-profit, announced a new entrepreneurship training program designed to help existing and future business owners develop and grow their businesses.
As part of the program, Ivy Tech Corporate College will deliver a 13-week, hands-on course covering topics related to business plan development, including funding, market analysis, cash flow and personnel management. The course will begin in late May and run through early September. At the end of the course, a business plan competition will be held. The top three finalists will receive a cash award and the opportunity for additional funding for their business plan.