Dr. Sandra Shultz (Kinesiology) received new funding from the National Science Foundation for the project “A Novel “Smart” Knee Sleeve to Provide Dynamic Motion Restraints.”
Through collaborations between the Departments of Kinesiology and Nanoscience at University of North Carolina Greensboro, the researchers are developing a novel knee sleeve that can be customized to an individual’s knee laxity profile, and that provides dynamic motion limits when prescribed thresholds are reached. The purpose of this project is to accelerate the innovation of this technology for both injury prevention and rehabilitation purposes. Specifically, the researchers’ objective is to interview potential prescribers (orthopedic and sports medicine physicians), influencers (athletics programs, physical therapists, athletic trainers), buyers (brace distributors, athletic departments, sport teams), and consumers (patients, athletes) of external knee supports to assess customer needs, determine market potential, refine the researchers’ value proposition and determine price points. All team members will attend workshops on entrepreneurial training, attend 5 weekly webinars, and complete a minimum of 100 customer interviews. Upon completion of this project, researchers expect to 1) determine a clear go/no go decision based on the assessment of the viability of the overall business model, 2) gain first-hand evidence for or against product-market fit, and 3) develop a narrative of a compelling technology demonstration for potential industry partners.