BME100 f2017:Group1 W1030 L1

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OUR TEAM

Emily Hanzlick
Abby Krell
Marissa Morales
Anthony Silva
Matias Fernandez


LAB 1 WRITE-UP

Health Care Issue

  • As a group, we wanted to tackle the huge health care issue of obesity. Obesity is a growing problem that affects more than one-third of the adult population in the United States (CDC [1]). We wanted to design and create a medical device that would help people gain awareness of several different, measurable factors that can impact an individuals overall health . When people can understand how their bodies function and have a clear pathway for how to achieve weight loss, they may be more motivated to make healthier choices.
  • We plan on achieving this goal by creating a tracking device for the customer's foot. This device has several key parts, each working to provide the customer with numerical values that they can use to plan their routine workouts. First, the base of the device will be composed of a synthetic gel insole which covers the heel of your foot. The interior of this insole will have a pressure sensor which could provide the user with a variety of data, including, but not limited to: weight of the user, steps taken and distance traveled. The second part of the device provides the support that the insole needs to stay attached to the users foot. This supporting structure will be composed of a couple of durable spandex bands that wrap around an individuals foot. One at the bridge of the foot, and the other at an individuals ankle. There will also be another band that runs from the ankle band to the bridge band, making sure to pass though the posterior tibial artery. A sensor will be placed here in order to constantly measure the users heart rate, which will give a more accurate reading of the number of calories burned. The entire device will be removable and machine washable. The third and final piece of our device is a band that wraps around your leg just below your calf muscle and just above the Achilles tendon; this band will be strictly for aesthetic purposes. It will contain the name of the brand and the logo, and will come in a variety of different colors to maximize customization flexibility for the customer.

Customer Validation

Purchasers:

- YMCA Diabetes Prevention Program

- TOPS (Take Off Pounds Sensibly) Club Inc.

- TheHealthyWeighOut

- Sovereign Health Detox Program

- Health Improvement Partnership of Maricopa County (CDC [2])

Payers:

- Arizona Medicaid

- Arizona Department of Health Services

Physicians(CDC [3]):

- Arizona Community Physicians

- Frank A. Agnone MD (internal medicine, PHX)

- Parul Agarwal MD (internal medicine, PHX)

- Jonas Aharoni MD (internal medicine, PHX)

- Marlo J Archer PHD (psychologist, Tempe)

- Charles Redmond Breed MD (cardiologist, Tempe)

Providers:

- Scottsdale Weight Loss Center

- Arizona Bone and Joint Specialists

- Center for Discovery

- Redemption Psychiatry, Gilbert AZ

- A New Beginning, LLC

- Sierra Tuscon

- American Addiction Centers

Patients:

One third of the United States population; including children and adults



Competitors

Advantages

With the problem of obesity continuing to be on the rise in the world, people's ears perk up at the mention of something new that could be used to combat obesity. Understanding this, there is sure to be no shortage of people who would be open and willing to use this product once it hits the market. There are a number of competing devices, including the Apple Watch (CDC [4]), Fitbit (CDC [5]), and other standard tracking devices. The advantage of our device is that it is wearable, though different in the sense that it is worn on a different part of the body and will house better tracking technologies; the device also has potential to be paired with a device like the Apple Watch- it can be used to enhance these types of technologies by adding to their fitness tracking capabilities.


Disadvantages

While obesity being a huge problem may bring some advantages, with it also comes the disadvantage of a crowded market. Many new devices as well as our own are being developed, heightening the competition. It would take an unprecedented amount of success to bring our product to dominate the market. That, however, doesn't mean our device could not be successful; it would just take a lot of resources to bring it to the forefront of the market.

Existing solutions do not meet needs, including:

Technological- many devices are not highly accurate in tracking technologies, and customers notice.

Financial- existing technologies are expensive, and the goal here is to be cost efficient in our effort to improve these devices.

Aesthetic- We want to provide even more options for customization and comfort. The device needs to make its wearer FEEL athletic. The more a customer feels they are making a difference in their body, the more motivated they become.



IP Position


Patents:


Assignee: Mark E. Nusbaum, Vincent Pera Jr.

Title: Mobile computing weight, diet, nutrition, and exercise tracking system with enhanced feedback and data acquisition functionality

Summary: An illustrative mobile computing device executing weight, nutrition, health, behavior and exercise application software serves as a simulated combination personal trainer and dietician/nutritionist for the user using comprehensive databases storing personalized health, nutrition and exercise information. A mobile computing device, such as a smartphone, executing such software monitors, tracks and/or adjusts caloric intake, energy expenditure taking into account nutritional information and behavioral factors. The mobile computing device receives food consumption, exercise-related, behavior and other input using speech input and the device's GPS subsystem to ease data entry burden on users and to promote continued long-term usage. The system rewards user goal achievement in an automatic, seamless manner, through, for example, downloading music, books, or other media. In illustrative implementations, the system assists users to make healthy food and exercise choices by using a comprehensive color code system to identify good choices, bad choices and those in between.

Relevant Images: [6] File Date: January 3, 2012

2) Assignee: Seer Technology, Inc.

Title: Variable Step Tracking

Summary: Variable step tracking is described in which a monitoring station is operable to receive data signals representative of step movement of an asset as detected by a monitoring device carried by the asset. A database stores a step length of the asset. A step length modification module modifies the step length based on at least one of energy, asset orientation, direction, and frequency associated with the step movement. An asset position is estimated with respect to a known location based on cumulative step lengths.

Relevant images: n/a

File Date: September 19, 2010

3) Assignee: Sensoria Inc. Title: Sensors, interfaces and sensor systems for data collection and integrated remote monitoring of conditions at or near body surfaces

Summary: Sensing devices including flexible and stretchable fabric-based pressure sensors, may be associated with or incorporated in garments intended to be worn against a body surface (directly or indirectly), or may be associated with other types of flexible substrates, such as sheet-like materials, bandages and other materials that contact the body (directly or indirectly), and may be provided as independently positionable sensor components. Systems and methods for storing, communicating, processing, analyzing and displaying data collected by sensor components for remote monitoring of conditions at body surfaces, or within the body, are also disclosed. Sensors and sensor systems provide substantially real-time feedback relating to current body conditions and may provide notifications or alerts to users, caretakers and/or clinicians, enabling early intervention when conditions indicate intervention is appropriate.

Relevant Images: [7]

File Date: January 29, 2013

4) Assignee: Nancy France

Title: Digitsole

Summary: Digitsole is the first connected, interactive, heated insole that can be controlled via your smartphone. This innovative foot product is designed for your health and comfort. Available on Android and iOS, the dedicated Digitsole app is connected to your insole with Bluetooth 4.0 so you can warm your feet and track your day with one easy click.

Relevant Images:[8]

File Date: September 2, 2014

5) Assignee: Motorola Mobility, Inc.

Title: Wearable Band with Ease of Adjustment

Summary: An impact resistant wearable band assembly which is particularly usefully and durable during physical exercise, fitness activities, sports, blood pressure measurements, and health care monitoring, can have a matrix, series or array of interlocking magnetic mechanisms with matingly engageable portions and comprising magnets and magnetically attractable portions for detachably and magnetically securing end portions of a user friendly wearable band. In use, the versatile wearable band can be easily adjusted in a one handed movement from a locked position to a released position and vice versa. Advantageously, the wearable band assembly includes an electronic device secured to an electronic device-supporting portion of the wearable band.

Relevant Images:[9]

File date: June 7, 2012

Fundability Worksheet Scores

Competitors

Score: 2

Though it appears that devices have been created and are sound solutions for this issue, none have been modified to be worn on the foot and there are still issues with regards to tracking technologies and accuracy. We intend on closing that gap with this device. It will be more accurate, easily accessible to customers, aesthetically pleasing, and a motivating factor for making healthier choices. It will be compatible with existing technology and handheld devices (smartphones, tablets, watches, etc). There is competition, but there is also a wide gap for improvement.

Customer Validation

Score: 2

The number of patients diagnosed with obesity is very large and consistently growing; it is a very real issue. Though technologies exist for tracking, we believe the transition of wearable technology to the foot and ankle will allow for more accurate results and a more empowered customer. The appeal is authentic and we can pair the technology with existing devices. With regards to physicians, the technology may be a more sound solution for motivating their patients to be active. Payers will be attracted to the use of this device due to its potential impact on the general health of society when paired with healthy eating habits and positive feedback to patients. Companies may invest in our product and we can also partner with existing companies in the same field.

IP Position

Score: 2

Quite a bit of patents have been filed that are affiliated with a technological device that can count as calculating steps, distance and calories. Although these patents are still intact today, many of them do not focus on only the foot. A patent could be created that includes all of which we are focusing on as a group. The companies with patents created already include companies like Motorola and they focus mainly on a bracelet that could be worn, rather than wearable technology on the foot and ankle. The patents that have already been created could be adjusted and easily changed to provide our group with the ability to create the device of our choice, while not being affected by these patents which are already active. These issued patents are strong for the device they've created, but with regard to our device, they are weak.