Prototyping in the Healthcare Space

Creating products in the healthcare setting results in many different types of users. The administration must see a return on the value of care to purchase the product. The doctors must understand the medical benefit to prescribing this intervention. The use of the product must fit with the practice of nurses and physical therapists. Patients must find the device enjoyable enough to actually exercise! In order to address the numerous classes of users, we are continuing to conduct customer research and interviews. We aim to arrive at a design that meet user needs and determine the correct patient population and initial target market. The viability of our venture depends on creating a physical product that is functional and clinically useful. Therefore, one of our primary summer goals is to iterate on our prototype to create a product that is usable by patients.

As a company, Fortify Rehab aims to provide resistance training exercise devices to allow aging patients to maintain strength. Once we create a product that is usable by patients, we will be able to pilot our products at healthcare facilities this fall. Coming into the summer, we have an initial prototype of our first product, BedTrainer, which is a tool attaches to the guardrails of a hospital bed and allows for a variety of upper body movements.

Because we are making physical products, our venture is relatively capital intensive. Once we arrive at viable product, we will incur costs to design our product and legal fees to protect our intellectual property. We will also have to offer pilot institutions samples to test our products. These pilot studies will offer us invaluable data in demonstrating our value to the healthcare community. We expect this to be costly, so we are interested in discovering fundraising opportunities. We view ourselves as both a startup company and clinical research endeavor, so fundraising could come through investment or research grants. We want to exit the summer with a plan to finance manufacturing for pilot studies at our initial partner hospitals.

Andrew Adelsheimer of Fortify Rehab