BME100 f2016:Group10 W1030AM L1

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Team 10

Amy Polanecki
Tariq Madni
Kyle Hull
Andrea Hnatievych
Neaco Fox


Health Care Issue

Due to the number of lower body injuries and elderly people living in the world, there is a decently sized market for crutches, canes and walkers. According to a study, using canes and walkers without proper training can be an invitation to a fall. Those who face lower body injuries due to sports, accidents, etc. must use crutches and understand the pain these contraptions provide on their arms and hands. The issue faced with crutches is that they are uncomfortable for the patient using the device due to their hard impact with the ground; also, crutches cover a small surface and there is the possibility of falling if a crutch is not properly walked on. Those using canes feel the pressure of the impact the device has as it hits the ground each time. Also, there is the possibility of falling over due to the small surface the bottom of the cane covers. We will create a solution to those who deal with pain of crutches, canes and walkers due to their hard impact on the ground and small surface coverage. Our health care device will be a replaceable bottom that can be attached to crutches, canes and walkers. They will be made out of the same material that racquetballs are created from and will create a less painful experience for the patient as they use their walking-aid devices.


Competitor Price Image Advantages Disadvantages Unmet Needs

Fetterman $32.95 Fetterman device Shock absorbing, adjustable to meet individual preference Costly if added temporarily Financial
In Motion Pro $15.56 In Motion Pro device Non-slip, stable structure Insufficient shock absorption Technological

Ergocap High Performance $20.15 ergocap High Performance device Reduces vibration and impact, shock absorbing Bottom traction gets hung up on uneven concrete, restrictions due to drag Design Financial
Carex $6.72 Carex device Inexpensive, simplistic No additional impact absorption, material is not durable Technological

Ingrid $6.95 Ingrid device Inexpensive, versatile for varied substrates No additional impact absorption Technological

Fetterman performance gel tip $43.95 Fetterman Performance gel tip device Long lasting, flexes to reduce fatigue Expensive for short term users Financial

Sammons $25.36 Sammons device Multipurpose, adaptive for varied terrain Cumbersome to change tips, expensive for short term users Design Financial

In evaluation of competing manufacturers of crutch tips, it becomes apparent that as one need is met other needs are not considered. The goal of creating a new technology is to solve all of the unmet needs, the current options fail to support. As a product is generated, the end result will be one that offers stability, comfort, adaptability within a reasonable price range. It will encompass all the technological, design and financial needs that are not met in one product at this time.

Customer Validation

From a patient perspective, this product can appeal to athletes with sports injuries and trauma patients with non-weight bearing restrictions. The ages can range from teenagers to geriatric population. This product is gender neutral and it’s application is universal to walkers, crutches and canes.

A person that is restricted to crutches usually experiences a great deal of discomfort from the harsh impact between the ground and crutch. That said person may want to upgrade their rubber bottom tips to something that can provide more comfort, especially if that product is at a decent price. This purchase would ideally be out of pocket. In some cases, certain insurance companies may cover the cost if the product is included with a crutch, cane or walker purchase from a hospital or physician office.

Primary care physicians, sports medicine specialists, and orthopedic surgeons may show a great interest in the product for the comfort and satisfaction of their patients.

Hospitals,physician offices and urgent care facilities may show an interest in this product to include with their sales of crutches/canes/walkers.

The purchaser in this case may be a third party seller such as Amazon, orthopedic companies and even directly the crutch/cane/walker company itself.

IP Position

Number/ Assignee Title Summary Image Filing date/ Status
US2888022A/ Walter F Fanning Shock absorber for orthopedic crutches Helps distribute weight more evenly as an attachment patent image 1 November 30, 1956/ Filed
US3335735A/ Elizabeth L Colegrove, Carleton B Esch crutch Better balance, easier to use, less shock in operation patent image 2 September 14, 1965/ Filed
US5606985A/ Joseph Battiston, David Battiston Crutch with adjustable inclined hand grip Bolt supported hand- grip with adjustability patent image 3 April 4, 1993/ Filed
US3448749A/ Walter Stark Non-skid attachment for the ground-engaging end of canes, crutches, and the like Makes the devices more effective in all types of weather, especially slippery conditions patent image 4 May 22, 1968/ Filed

Fundability Worksheet Scores

1- There is a crowded market space for our medical device and we found 7 competitors that would compete against our product. However, we plan to make our product cost effective, durable, comfortable, and unique in design/colors.

Customer Validation
1- There is not enough customer feedback; however, people who use crutches, canes, or walkers would be interested in our product once they feel the painful impact their device provides on their body. If we are able to get our product incorporated into the manufacturing of crutches, canes, and/or walkers then we would see an increase in customer validation, as well as market size.

IP Position
2- There does not seem to be a pending patent on the design structure of our medical device. Although there are many patents for the crutch, we believe that the materials and design of our medical device will be enough to issue a weak patent and then a stronger patent in the future.