Edison Nation Medical, a medical device incubator and health care innovation portal that brings medical invention ideas to life, is launching an open innovation search to find new assistive products that can help occupational therapists maximize safety and independence for senior patients. This innovation search coincides with April’s Occupational Therapy Month.
There are more Americans age 65 and older than any other time in U.S. history. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, our nation’s 65-and-older population increased 15.1 percent from 2000 to 2010, compared with a 9.7 percent increase for the entire U.S. population. People in this age group now make up 13 percent of the total population, compared with 12.4 percent in 2000 and 4.1 percent in 1900. The U.S. elderly population is expected to grow by nearly 80 percent in the next 25 years.
Many seniors face the decision of remaining in their homes, also referred to “aging in place,” or moving to retirement or assisted living communities. According to AARP research, most seniors want to stay in their homes as long as they possibly can: nearly 90 percent of seniors want to age in place, 82 percent recognize the possibility that they will need some assistance or ongoing care, while a combined 13 percent want to move to a facility or into a family member’s home.
Aging in place comes with challenges, specifically safety. According to the MetLife Mature Marketing Institute, falls are the main cause of accidental deaths among seniors.
The field of occupational therapy, which provides people of all ages with the necessary tools to optimize their environments to promote independence and participation in daily life activities, plays a significant role in helping seniors age in place safely. Occupational therapists evaluate clients’ abilities, such as balance, coordination and safety awareness, along with their home environments to identify performance barriers and safety issues, including narrow doorways, steep staircases and loose banisters. They also evaluate areas that may need to be modified and assistive devices that can help maximize safety and independence.
Some modifications/assistive devices include the following:
- Kitchen: kitchen trolley, perching stool with back support, kettle tipper, stabilized cutting board
- Bathroom: shower stool, grab bar, transfer bath bench
- Bedroom: button hook, dressing stick, sock aid, long-handled shoe horn, long-handled reacher
“We designed our occupational therapy search in hopes of receiving new inventions or modifications to existing products that will better enable seniors to age more safely in their home environments,” said Robert Grajewski, president of Edison Nation Medical. “Our search provides the opportunity for patients, caregivers and practitioners to submit ideas for products to replace ‘work-arounds’ currently being used in the home or to submit ideas for ways existing devices could be made better or safer to use.”
Anyone with a relevant search idea may submit it to the confidential portal at http://EdisonNationMedical.com/ through June 10, 2014. The best ideas will be designed, developed and licensed by Edison Nation Medical, which then splits licensing royalties 50/50 with successful inventors.
Individuals pay a $25 submission fee for each idea. There is no limit to the number of ideas an inventor may submit. Edison Nation Medical absorbs all subsequent research, patent and development costs.
ABOUT EDISON NATION MEDICAL
Edison Nation Medical is a medical device incubator and health care innovation portal with deep product development and medical expertise. A collaboration between Carolinas HealthCare System, one of the nation’s leading health care systems, and Edison Nation, prolific product developer and online social community for inventors, Edison Nation Medical’s mission is to create more effective, efficient and safer health care through innovation by breaking down traditional barriers and providing an easy way for new medical product inventions to come to life.
Edison Nation Medical is based in Charlotte, N.C. For more information on the company, please visit www.EdisonNationMedical.com.