South African medical technology business, Dynamic Body Technology has developed an innovative Bluetooth Range of Motion (ROM) and movement tool, called the 3D Joint Rom system, which they believe will revolutionise physiotherapy.

The 3D Joint ROM system is a combination of software and Bluetooth sensor technology that measures and analyses joint movement, which is then displayed in real-time on a connected iPad tablet. Physiotherapists can use the technology to measure and record their patient’s range in all three dimensions and can also use the system to remotely track their patients’ progress and recovery.

Dynamic Body Technology was co-founded earlier this year by the current CTO, Stephen Meyerowitz and CEO, Marc Ashton after they were introduced by a mutual friend who believed they had a good combination of skills to collaborate on a new med tech venture.

Meyerowitz has a background in developing and distributing med tech and is the Founder of Shemesh Health Solutions, a medical innovation hub that also sells products in the eye care industry. Ashton is a financial journalist who previously held the role of Editor at Finweek magazine as well as Moneyweb. With a keen interest in the financial and entrepreneur space, Ashton founded Decusatio, a financial problem-solving resource which helps individuals, businesses and entrepreneurs identify partners for specific financial challenges.

“When we got together, we were very adamant that we wanted to build a product that had two main attributes. Firstly, it had to be suitable for the South African market – there is no point in building a product that has all the bells and whistles, but isn’t cost-effective for the SA market and responsive to local medical practitioner needs,” Ashton told eHealthNews.

“Secondly, we wanted to let our users feel like they were on a journey with us and they could see the product was evolving through their input,” continued Ashton.

Meyerowitz added that they founded Dynamic Body Technology with the belief that they could improve patient treatment outcomes by using the latest Bluetooth and movement technology, and offer better treatment through remote monitoring of a patient treatment plan. “We believe the movement space is untapped and it’s very exciting to be one of the first to offer such hi-tech and collaborative technologies,” said Meyerowitz.

At the end of last month, Ashton and Meyerowitz brought together a multi-disciplinary group of academics, practicing physiotherapists and occupational therapists, wellness professionals and some Wits University medical students to give their input on the product. Participants gave their input on research, remote monitoring and in-practice applications as well as pricing and user interfaces.

“As a product developer, it is critical that you actually engage with your end-user and truly understand their requirements. This session allowed us to get multi-disciplinary feedback from people from a variety of backgrounds including bio-mechanics, sports science, physiotherapy and occupational therapy,” said Meyerowitz.

According to Ashton, the feedback was valuable because from it they were able to identify research and clinical opportunities for the technology.

“We have now given certain lecturers and students the opportunity to use the technology at no cost to do research and to gather data. We’ll also be equipping two of the private practices with the technology in the next two weeks so that they can provide feedback to us on how it operates in a practice environment,” said Ashton.

Before Dynamic Body Technology officially launches the 3D Joint ROM system to market they wish to further develop and improve their product based on user feedback. Development plans include a web interface for data and rolling out the solution on both iOS and Android mobile phones, because currently only iPads are supported.

“We are sensitive to the needs of therapy practices in South Africa and we don’t want to lump them with expensive technology that they can’t generate an economic return on. Therapists run businesses and whatever they invest in, they need to be able to see how it’s going to contribute toward their practice,” said Meyerowitz.

“We used the session at Wits University to discuss pricing models and understand the best ways to implement our product. There are a couple of variables to consider including licenses, number of sensors, and casing options but we can confidently say that the price points we presented were well received,” continued Meyerowitz.

According to Ashton, based on user engagement so far they believe that their product can offer more than just measuring ROM; it can also provide an understanding of how the body moves and how the therapist can monitor, analyse and, if necessary, rehabilitate it. “What we want to ultimately end up with is a suite of products which allow for this,” said Ashton.

“We are wanting to do a couple of interesting things in the next few months, including a workshop on the treatment of whiplash injuries and how our technology can support therapists and professionals working in this space. We’re also working on a couple of research opportunities in the sport sector as well as looking at research around wearables and medical practices of the future,” concluded Ashton.

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