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June 17, 2024 11:59 pm

About this idea
Wareologie, a woman-owned certified small business, was awarded a contract to collaborate with Veterans Health Administration Innovators Network (VHA iNet) clinicians and Lawrence Tech University's Centrepolis Accelerator, to develop foldable, Portable Parallel Bars™ on wheels to revolutionize physical therapy access, improving patient and workforce safety. Wareologie developed the FDA Class 1, mobile device initially to address a call-to-action by skilled nursing clinicians who have isolated residents suffering from the deleterious effects of immobility. Clinicians desired a mobile device to deliver vital therapeutic exercise directly to the patient’s bedside. Wareologie presented the concept and was awarded a contract by the VHA iNet in June 2021, to expedite development for use in hospital settings. National Institute of Health (NIH) studies reveal, receiving therapy just 24 hours earlier results in a 29% probability of shortened length of stay bringing significant benefits to patients, clinicians, and the entire healthcare continuum. Wareologie designed the proprietary solution in collaboration with VA clinician subject matter experts (SME) who provided direct input on desired features and performance. The problem is over 4 million annual catastrophic accidents require physical therapy rehabilitation and transferring patients to the gym is challenging and often impossible. Current transfer options require multiple staff and can be unsafe. In fact, patient falls account for over $34 billion in healthcare costs annually. Portable Parallel Bars™ fold and have wheels empowering clinicians to bring vital standing ambulation therapy directly to the patient’s hospital bedside or home. Parallel bars enable patient’s confidence to stand confidently, more independently sooner and safer in the privacy and convenience of their hospital room or home. Patients bear their own weight to reduce strain on clinicians. Additionally, by eliminating time transferring patients to wheels chairs and down to the rehab gym the staff gains efficiencies. The first-to-market, patent-pending mobile device is perfect for multiple settings including hospitals, skilled nursing centers, rehab centers, and home therapy. Wareologie will sell direct to institutions and B2B through reputable Veteran, disabled-owned wholesalers and medical distribution partners to reach over 89,000 potential customers in the market. We are now taking orders and commercializing in Michigan. The first products will be available in October and ready to exhibit at fall trade shows across the country. We are launching a "try-before-you-buy" pilot program to provide an evaluation period for new customers and will offer a lease program to help smaller business purchase product. The company has 2 additional models under development and accessories to expand product features. We will apply for the CE mark and launch globally in Q3 of 2023 in preparation to scale. Wareologie Project Milestones: 1. FDA registered medical device 2. Awarded a contract by the Veterans Health Administration and fulfilled first $80k contract 3. Received LOI by Ascension Health 4. Certified woman-owned company 5. Won $5k pitch competition 6. Granted $10k MEDC grant 7. Granted $10k Challenge America grant 8. Acquired first $100k investor 9. Commenced contract manufacturing in MI for 15 units of the commercialized Portable Parallel Bars™ on wheels 10. Won 2021 Best Commercialized Product by LTU Centrepolis Accelerator 11. Medline in the sales funnel as wholesale distributor Portable Parallel Bars™ Key Differentiators • PORTABLE - Wheels for easy transport • SAFE - Patients can bear their own weight • SAVE TIME - Set up and takedown in less than 1 minute • SAVE SPACE - Compact, light design stores out of the way • DURABLE - 1,000 lbs. maximum weight load • STEP ACCESSORY - For patients to practice stairs • LIGHTWEIGHT - 65 lbs. (significantly lighter than stationary parallel bars at +130 lbs. • ADJUSTABLE - Adjustable height and width to accommodate patients • COMPACT - Folded, the device is 1' x 2' x 5' (fits in a hatchback of a car) • MADE WITH - Aerospace aluminum, heavy duty outriggers for support, length - 5ft • MADE IN USA
Our newest product Portable Parallel Bars™ addresses the 90 million physical therapy sessions missed annually due to lack of access to treatment for patients in recovery, quarantine, or stuck at home. Parallel bars are a critical therapy device used frequently to help patients stand, balance, and gait train. This is vital for people recovering from certain surgeries and catastrophic injuries such as hip surgery, spinal cord paralysis, limb-loss, and/or stroke. While the patient is our end user, there are significant benefits to hospitals, rehabilitation, and assisted living facilities. Our research shows that this will address the annual $40 billion in patient falls and workmen’s’ compensation claims due to employee strain and injury from working with unstable equipment like walkers. Our customers are VA Hospitals, hospitals systems, rehabilitation centers, skilled and assisted living facilities, wholesale medical supply companies, and home rehabilitation companies. These facilities and companies can all use the Portable Parallel Bars™ to deliver rehab therapies faster and in more locations, leading to better outcomes for patients and less strain and stress on clinicians.
What I'll do with $5,000
We will use the grant money towards our first run of 15 units for trade shows and launching our trial evaluation program in Q3. This is a first to market product. Customers want to touch and use the product before scaling their purchase. The product must be FDA registered and manufactured to use with patients. Therefore, we have commenced commercialization and are raising funding to cover inventory costs. A“Try-before-you-buy” program allows customers to buy with confidence. This grant will help purchase 2 sample units, providing potential customers the chance to test the commercialized unit for their facility.
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