Bone fractures are the most common orthopedic problem in the United States, with 6.3 million fractures occurring in the United States each year. Approximately 890,000 hospitalizations occur each year because of bone fractures, the most of common being hip fractures, followed by ankle fractures and fractures of the tibia and fibula. One issue associated with bone fractures is the availability of a hospital for advanced medical care, especially in wilderness regions where urgent health care is not readily available. Many injuries that occur in the wilderness will become more severe or take longer to heal because of the unavailability of nearby medical care. Therefore, properly stabilizing broken bones while in situations where a traditional splint is unavailable is essential to mitigating further damage to the fracture.
a. Must be better treatment/service than before for the same price or LESS when compared to similar devices/solutions
a. Mostly larger companies such as Medtronic looking to do acquisitions of smaller companies for big payouts. Our product needs to be comparable to similar products cost-wise, otherwise it will not sell well in purchasers' stores
a. Needs to meet the needs and requirements of professionals in the field
b. Includes all sorts of specialists, and in our case orthopaedic surgeons/specialists
a. Includes hospitals/facilities outside of private practice doctors
b. Needs to appeal to cost demands and need in the hospital setting
a. Health insurance companies looking for comparable pricing to a known product
a. Boy Scouts of America
b. Elderly people in nursing homes
c. Teenage/college athletes
d. Competitive gymnasts
a. Stryker Corporation
b. Express Companies, INC.
e. REI Co-op
a. OrthoArizona - Arizona Bone & Joint Specialists
b. Dr. Gilbert Ortega (Ortho Surgeon in Scottsdale)
c. The Orthopedic Clinic Association
a. Phoenix Children’s Hospital
b. Tempe St. Luke's Hospital
c. Mayo Clinic Hospital
d. Banner Health Hospitals
b. UnitedHealth Group
c. Anthem INC.
d. Cigna Healthcare
Other Solution: Adjustable Pressure Cast for Orthopedic Injuries Advantages: Inflatable, adjustable pressure chambers, Outer support, Has splint members that can mounted onto the cast Disadvantages: Mainly designed for lower extremities, but can be used for upper extremities if needed.
Why Ours is More Marketable: Ours could potentially wrap around any part of the body (ribs, thigh,etc) not just a limb. Other Solution: Versatile Splinting Device Advantages: Waterproof, Radiotranslucent, Each section can be independently inflated. Disadvantages: May not be stable because they are just inflatable sections with no reinforcement on the outside. Why Ours is More Marketable: Ours would have a strong enough pressure that it wouldn’t need reinforcements and it also doesn’t risk the bladders losing water as ours would be easy to repair if there was a hole because it just needs air. Other Solution: Splint System Advantages: Collapsible frame/inflatable member that can be locked/expanded into position, Compact and can fit emergency rescue vehicles. Disadvantages: Traction splint is separate, Frame is specific to limb fractures. Why Ours is More Marketable: Ours wouldn’t be limb specific as there would be no frame involved. Ours would be in a smaller compacted cases because there wouldn’t be a frame. Other Solution: Pressurized Liquid Cast Advantages: Can supply uniform pressure at the limb. Disadvantages: Outer protective shell can’t completely cover the sleeve because it could puncture it. Why Ours is More Marketable: Ours wouldn’t risk having a sleeve uncovered because it wouldn’t be punctured.
Title: Adjustable pressure cast for orthopedic injuries
Abstract: This device uses inflation to stabilize the patient's leg after an injury such as fracture or sprains. The device consists of three air chambers which support sections of the leg. It is also usable for arms.
Relation to our product: This product seems to be very similar to our design. However, the patent shows that it is designed more for leg injuries than arm injuries. Our design will be able to adjust to both leg and arm injuries.
File Date: October 30, 1997
Title: Versatile splinting device
Abstract: This device also uses inflation and pressure to cushion the injured limb and stabilize the sprain or fracture. It is also waterproof and it allows x-rays to pass through it. The inflation chambers can be set to a certain level for comfort.
Relation to our product: Again, this device is very similar to our design. The design seems to be very complex and it would seem to be a large contraption. Our design will be small enough to be carried by hikers and campers and such.
File Date: October 30, 1997
Assignee: Damage Control Surgical Technologies, Inc.
Title:Splint system and method of use
Abstract: This device is another inflatable splint which can be used to stabilize bone fractures in arms or legs. It is compact enough to be held in rescue vehicles.
Relation to our product: This is again very similar to our device except the traction splint is not included in this design. Our product will have all components in place and still be compact.
File Date: April 4, 2006
Title: Pressurized liquid cast
Abstract: This device used fluids to create a pressurized splint to stabilize an injury.
Relation to our product: Instead of air like our device, this one uses fluids. However, the basis of the product is similar to ours.
File Date: October 1, 2013
Fundability Worksheet Scores
Currently, there are several products on the market that solve the same problem our product would, just using separate, large devices instead of a single and compact one. Given that their price point is low enough for our product to be unable to compete, and that our product currently faces a crowded marketplace, our “Competition” score would be a 1.
Customer Validation: 1
Since this is an exercise and we haven’t had the chance to reach out to potential customers, healthcare providers, etc., our product does not currently have enough customer feedback to-date. Our results could be different if we were to reach out to the listed groups above, but that would require survey results that we don’t yet have for our product.
IP Position: 0
Given our current product’s design bearing uncanny similarity to several other products currently patented, our product would likely end up without the ability to freely operate. Under the assumption that our idea is changed in such a way as to utilize different areas of stability (e.g. being able to expand or contract based on the limb or region, rather than being exclusively used on large appendages), our idea could potentially land with a score of 1, due to weak patents still competing with other already patented and similar ideas.
The construction of the adjustable/inflatable splint is well within the realm of being constructed for a relatively cheap price. This is thanks to its inexpensive plastic construction. The only substantial upfront cost is that of the molds used to produce the inexpensive plastic components. The molds would be used to produce that splints in large quantities making it viable to go mass market with a competitive profit margin.