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HaloJoint Embrace an Active Lifestyle Again

A wearable hygienic “sleeve” device, flexible, with cool temperature, and body sensor as a preventive apparel-integrated durable for joints.

Photo of Darius Z
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What challenges or opportunities are you trying to address within the problem? (200 characters or less)

Those suffering from this disease often avoid activities associated with an active lifestyle or sporting exercises. Our solution specifically targets joint injury prevention from osteoporosis.

Our solution is a design that specifically targets protection of joints with an anti-microbial, anti-fungal, moisture-resistant and highly flexible material resin we have used to prototype for this purpose.  We aim to target joints in order to reduce the surface area that needs to be covered to maximize comfort yet still remain an effective device for a falls risk.  Our device can be customized to fit different types of joints according to the areas of the body of each individual that is at high risk for fracture from knee joints to hip joints and wrists.  Additionally we are developing this device in mind that those suffering from osteoporosis benefit tremendously from exercise whether its tai chi or something more active.  The device is designed to provide an assurance that in case of a fall joints will be protected from fracture.  Our upgrade version will integrate a body sensor network (BSN) that will detect changes in joints for the utility of high joint (e.g. genicular) plexi nerve potential changes which can be indicative of excessive stress prior to fracture at a joint during activities.


Who is your target end user and why will they be interested? (650 characters or less)

Our target user is the individual suffering from osteoporosis who wants to engage in a more active lifestyle whether it be standing exercises or a mobile activity. The biggest benefit for osteoporosis patients is a more active lifestyle and the biggest fear for these patients is falling down, our solution addresses this dilemma by reducing fear of fracture-induced falls for these individuals who otherwise wish to be more active in their lives.

How is your idea scaleable? (650 characters or less)

Our model incorporates bootstrapping growth and we will introduce our devices with Focus Group modeling at clinics where osteoporosis patients are undergoing rehabilitation and also at nursing homes with the elderly and disabled Veterans organizations. We believe that assistive living facilities will find our product useful as many host adult activities and sports. We will begin after clinical trials with limited production and distribution with post-market surveillance data collection for feedback. While nursing home franchises are a target for scaleability we believe that once we are approved as a medical durable with proper labeling by the FDA we will pursue approval for managed care reimbursement through HSA accounts of individual patients. Physiatrists, Orthopedics, Podiatrists, PTs, and Emergency medicine professionals are amongst our target clinicians. We will actively market our product through trade shows relevant to Doctors who routinely see Osteoporosis in practice.

What do/will you measure to know if your solution worked? (500 characters or less)

- Clinical testing with academic pilot studies including balance testing via computerized dynamic posturography and effects of our device in the presence of a fall. We have experience in this area. - Limited production and distribution with active post-market surveillance such as a Phase 4 of a drug after FDA approval, using data collection for feedback and continuous improvement. - Testing for tensile and elasticity strengths and effects from impact of the device with normal (control) individuals in order to compare to osteoporosis patients and observing with evidence-based outcome measures.

What is the current stage of development of your idea?

  • Blueprint: We are exploring the idea and gathering the inspiration and information we need to test it with real users.

If you were to become a Top Idea, would you want to actively participate in piloting your idea?

  • I want my idea piloted, and I prefer to do my own piloting in collaboration with the health system and with assistance from the Challenge partner
  • I want my idea piloted, but I’d prefer not to be involved in the pilot and prefer that the health system adopts my idea for piloting with assistance from the Challenge partner

Company / Organization Name, if applicable (140 characters or less)

HaloJoint

Tell us about yourself or your team (500 characters or less)

HaloJoint is a product that our team developed and won first prize at a competition in healthcare innovation designs at MIT in 2019 here in Boston. We all know individuals and family members who suffer from this disease. Our backgrounds include MBA in pharmaceutical business, pharmaceutical sciences and regulation, genetic engineering, bioinformatics, and biology. We have performed research at Harvard Medical School, National Institutes of Health, the Veterans Healthcare System, and a clinical background in balance disorders.

Location (50 characters)

We are located in Boston, Massachusetts and India.

What is your legal / organizational structure?

  • We are individuals

Innovator/Organizational Characteristics

  • Youth-led organization
  • Locally/community-led organization
  • International/global organization (implementing in multiple countries)

How did you hear about the Challenge?

  • Partner Network website or social media
  • Someone in my network (word of mouth)

Why are you participating in this Challenge?

We had developed HaloJoint at a competition this year at MIT and while multiple designs for different problems were introduced we targeted joint protection for falls risk patients originally for Hemophilia but also other diseases. Upon finding out that OpenIDEO was interested in addressing the problem of fractures for osteoporosis patients we were deeply interested in pursuing this opportunity to further develop our idea and gain insight and feedback from the OpenIDEO community and mentors.

4 comments

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Photo of Mariah Burton Nelson
Team

Dear HaloJoint Team,

I'm an OpenIDEO innovation coach and person with osteoporosis post-first-fracture. I'm intriguedand commend you on your first-place prize. A few thoughts come to mind:

1) As with padded hip protectors and other devices on the market, a primary question is, But is it effective? Testing the device to make sure it actually reduces fractures would be essential.

2) It's hard to imagine that the same device could be used for hips and wrists. Explain a bit more?

3) I can imagine wearing these on my wrists when biking. If I knew that they would be effective, it would make me a more carefree cyclist. Carefree cyclists sometimes don't pay close enough attention to staying on the bike! I happened to listen to a fascinating NPR podcast called Moral Hazard (misleading name). It's defined as "lack of incentive to guard against risk where one is protected from its consequences." This can be an unintended consequence of making people feel safe. This may seem far afield from your proposal, since any protective device could feasibly lead to people feeling so protected they begin being more reckless... but the fact that this concept comes to my mind - you're giving me visions of riding my bike hands-free again :-) - is something you can take as a positive sign: that this potential user, at least, would be very interested.

Photo of Darius Z
Team

Dear Mariah,

Thank you for taking the time to read our submission and your valuable feedback. We have answered the following below:

1) This is a great point. Our objective is to test physical properties of the device with higher precision for the tensile strength and elasticity at a pre-clinical trial phase. Then we would test the product for safety, comfort, and retention on normal subjects and those with varying degrees of osteoporosis symptoms such as bone hypodensity in a safe laboratory environment. We would then evaluate the product further with a larger population comparing it to existing and comparable devices on the market for side effects and efficacy on a larger scale. Finally we will commit to a post-market surveillance program similar to a drug to collect information about long-term effects for users.

2) Our product’s properties are in the material and in the body sensor network that we are using as well as the design to maximize comfort and aesthetics. We are able to manipulate the dimensions of the product in order to fit different joints and over time we hope to customize our product further to cover more joints. Your point is very rational and we will launch our product addressing one or two joints initially.

- The moral hazard analogy you make is interesting and this is something we will have to keep in the backs of our minds. We take very seriously the idea of misleading advertising and would be prudent to make claims that have not been verified by outcome measures with independent parties (i.e. external clinics). We will also abide by the regulatory requirements including proper labeling. Educating our distributors and ultimately our patient users about what our product is, what it intends on doing, what it has shown to do, and how we recommend they use HaloJoint for the betterment of their lives is just as important as the research and development. Thanks for sharing and mentioning the bike riding scenario for the wrist application. These are exactly the scenarios that we need to consider during our trial testing of HaloJoint and we appreciate the input!

- HaloJoint Team

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