Client Spotlight, Integrated Bionics
This is the 21st century…more than one hundred years of innovation…the most exciting breakthroughs in healthcare technology…the evolution of modern science. During the 21st century there are two questions concerning health technologies going forward, how does technology diffuse into our everyday lives? And, what affects and pushes the evolution of technology?
Stéphane Smith sought the answers to these questions when he began developing Integrated Bionics, LLC. Stéphane, co-founder and CEO, is an electrical engineer with a passion and interest in healthcare. His brother Yves Smith, co-founder and COO is a prosthodontist by trade who received his masters in dental prosthetics. Their expertise coupled together produced a management team that has been able to innovate across industries by developing the "HeadsUp Headband", a wearable technology that provides an objective measure of head acceleration.
The device was originally developed for use in competitive youth women's soccer because "women's soccer has the second highest rate of concussions after men's football," explains Yves. "49% of girls who play at college level soccer get a concussion. 87% of Houston high school girls have either had a concussion or known someone who has had a concussion. Stéphane identifies the facts driving Integrated Bionics’ solution to a very real and wide scale problem for their customers. With their technology, Integrated Bionics brings an opportunity to take control of players’ health by identifying trends and nuances when an injury occurs, leading to concussion prevention, an opportunity the industry is missing.
Stéphane explains, "Today [coaches and staff] do an observation. They see there might be an injury, then ask a series of questions. These decisions are made based on a subjective process that might be different from day to day, from trainer to trainer. What [Integrated Bionics] is going to provide is a standardized rule from play to play and player to player."
The HeadsUp Headband is equipped with a Companion Sensor System. This patent pending system allows a breakthrough in reducing the size of a wearable bio-sensor while drastically increasing the longevity of the device, from 10 hours to 1,250 hours. Increased longevity enhances player compliance and acceptance of the solution, a critical success factor for wearable sensors.
While initially the company’s focused specifically on targeting women's soccer, the HeadsUp Headband has already gained interest outside of soccer. The device is being used and tested with the US Women's Rugby team, and has received interest from track and field, cheerleading, and football.
Integrated Bionics is testing and collecting data for market validity and have already seen real promise. With these results, they are raising awareness and have begun receiving pre-orders for the HeadsUp Headband. Integrated Bionics plans to officially launch in Q1 of 2015.
Recently accepted into the Houston Technology Center’s Acceleration Program in 2014, Stéphane comments, "HTC seems to be the hub. Through this organization we are able to reach out and connect with the rest of the Houston community." Integrated Bionics recognizes Houston has allowed them to shine in a closer knit community, compared to that of Silicon Valley where a great idea can get lost in the noise.