“Entrepreneurship is all about redefinition and flexibility,” says Dan Vassilaros of Allentown’s MindBridge Innovations.
When several years of development and market testing failed to yield sufficient results on the company’s MindBike, a dual-action vehicle aimed at helping neurologically impaired children gain/regain functional and cognitive autonomy, MindBridge modified the product for adult recumbent riding and renamed it “OrthoBike.”
Several prototypes culminated with the third-generation OrthoBike designed by MTS Ventures, a resident company at the Bridgeworks Enterprise Center operated by the Allentown Economic Development Corporation.
“We have accumulated about five years of experience in orthopedic clinics and almost two years in the homes of knee replacement and repair surgery patients who were struggling with their rehab…[to] wonderful reviews,” reports Vassilaros.
Now MindBridge is moving ahead, developing a business model in order to begin manufacturing.
“Most parts are sourced from Lehigh Valley manufacturers, with some from Ohio and Taiwan,” explains Vassilaros. “We plan to retain assembly and control over the final product here.”
MindBridge received a $35,000 loan from Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania, in part to complete development of its CoachAL interface, which uses pedal cadence data to motivate riders and to provide remote monitoring of progress and compliance of home use of the OrthoBike and any other stationary exercise bike.
The company is also still at work on the children's MindBike and has modified an existing adult fitness dual-action bike for children in elementary schools in Pennsylvania.
“Our long-term goals are huge,” enthuses Vassilaros. “We need to develop the evidence that will permit the MindBike to be used in pediatric neurological therapy. We feel that the greatest good we can do is to help neurologically impaired children gain greater functional and cognitive autonomy.”
“Seniors who want to exercise body and mind need a safe way to move their whole body and engage their minds with challenging content,” he adds. “The OrthoBike is perfect because the pedal crank arm is adjustable for folks with limited range of motion (caused by arthritis or injury), both the arms and legs move in a pattern that appears to be therapeutic to injured brains as well as whole body exercise, and CoachAL can guide and encourage them to move. “
Source: Dan Vassilaros, MindBridge Innovations
Writer: Elise Vider