Walk With Path: Last steps before market launch
Walk With Path is a healthcare company working to improve mobility for people with conditions such as Parkinson’s. Back in 2015, its founder Lise Pape was a winner of our MedTechSouthEast competition, showcasing two of her innovative products: Path Feel and Path Finder. Since then, Lise has been writing for us about her experience testing and getting her products ready for market.
In the last year, Walk With Path has raised angel funding, presented Path Finder at the Rio Paralympics, and is now working towards market launch of Path Finder in the spring. They are also currently exhibiting at the Design Museum in London. Here, Lise discusses these exciting developments.
Path Finder at the Rio Paralympics
Last summer, UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) Brazil organised a competition to select five of the most innovative companies from the UK who offer healthcare-related solutions to improve the lives of people with disabilities. As one of the five winners, I was invited to go to Brazil during the 2016 Paralympics in Rio to take part in the Pitch at Paras competition. This involved a Dragons' Den style pitch to a selected audience of potential business partners, investors and decision-makers in the Brazilian healthcare market as well as Paralympic professionals, such as Team GB athletes Jody Cundy and Phil Hogg, who gave inspirational talks about their careers.
Walk With Path won the silver prize, which filled us with great pride given the incredibly high quality of presentations and innovations. Afterwards we were approached by Brazilian healthcare experts, such as a neurosurgeon and a movement disorder professional. The event culminated in a great networking session with a wide selection of both British and Brazilian healthcare players.
The rest of my visit allowed me to explore business opportunities in Brazil, including tailored meetings with important business leaders. It was a fantastic trip and proved an important opportunity to profile Walk With Path.
Exhibiting at the Design Museum in London
One of our other products, Path Feel, is now on show at the Design Museum as part of the NewOld exhibition curated by Jeremy Myerson, Helen Hamlyn Professor of Design at the Royal College of Art. The exhibition is split into six sections - Ageing, Identity, Home, Community, Working and Mobility, the latter of which features Path Feel.
Path Feel is an insole for shoes which helps the wearer to feel the floor better, through providing active feedback. This helps people with conditions such as Multiple Sclerosis to be more confident in getting around and decreases the chance of falling, which can cause very serious injury.
Market Launch of Path Finder
We have been working on finalising the design for Path Finder ahead of our intended market launch in the spring. Path Finder is a laser cueing device to help people with Parkinson’s to overcome a common challenge called ‘freezing of gait’, which is the feeling that their feet are glued to the floor. The symptom is one of the main causes of falls in people with Parkinson’s and significantly affects their confidence in attempting to walk.
We have been testing Path Finder with users and looking primarily at design aspects such as usability in several stages. This allows us to continuously adapt the design based on our feedback.
For our final user test in December we wanted to see how effective our instructive guide was. The user guide is imperative in helping people to fit and adjust the product to their individual dimensions upon receiving it. So for this test we simply handed users a box, complete with contents and a user guide, and observed their engagement with the product. The positive feedback that we received inspired our decision to progress towards launch later this year. We are currently looking into setting up our manufacturing.
Expanding our team
We will be looking for a new team member with skills in data analysis and software during the coming months. If you are interested in finding out more about what we do or working with us, please contact me via email: email@example.com.
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