The Oakland University Incubator (OU INC), a Smart Zone Business Accelerator, took occupational therapist, Nathan Barnett, under its wing and mentored him on how to transform his idea of creating an objective system for accurately testing an elderly person’s balance and devising treatment suggestions to minimize the risk of falls. Out of Barnett’s collaboration with OU INC, he will officially launch his revolutionary new “Safe Balance” concept this coming Friday into an emerging health care market for addressing the needs of the elderly in preventing debilitating or deadly falls.
OU INC gave Barnett the tools needed to realize his goal. The Incubator provided Barnett with access to resources and networks, as well as funding through the Business Accelerator Fund along with guidance from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation.While balance testing has been around a while, the subjective measures utilized lacked reliability, consistency and ability to accurately detect the presence of a heightened risk of debilitating or deadly falls. Barnett believes that without a proper metric to identify risk, fall related injuries will continue to skyrocket.
Barnett created the Dynamic Arc: Functional Balance Testing System. The Dynamic Arc is a portable device with a software component that identifies the presence of a fall risk, quantifies the impairment severity and provides clarity to the physician and/or therapist to facilitate focused treatment.
Barnett’s company, Functional Innovation Enterprises soon became an attractive business investment. In the spring of 2016, Avantius Medical Equipment was formed as a joint venture between Barnett and entrepreneur Frederic Jouhet.
This is a new concept for a very old problem,” said Barnett. “ Safe Balance” is revolutionary because of the many ways it can prolong independence for the elderly and create peace of mind for them and their loved ones. An unexpected fall can have catastrophic consequences. Safe Balance plays a key role in preventing this from happening. I couldn’t have taken my idea to a market-ready position without the guidance and resources of OU INC.”
Surging growth and opportunity in the balance testing market, led Barnett and Jouhet to spin off the old company into a new one called Safe Balance.
Safe Balance currently serves all levels of senior communities from Independent Living, Senior Living and Nursing Home/Rehabilitation Centers. The advantages of Safe Balance are decreased liability exposure, and greater peace of mind to family/residents. More information can be found at www.safe-balance.com.
About OU INC
OU INC is a Smartzone Business Incubator and Innovation Center, in collaboration with the City of Rochester Hills, Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC), and strategic industry partners. With a focus on the energy, medical device, and information technology sectors, OU INC provides entrepreneurial resources and strategic business solutions for developing business ventures and accelerating ideas to market. OU INC is a designated Soft Landing Facility through the International Business Innovation Association for international companies. For more information go to http://www.oakland.edu/ouinc.