Crutch Shock and Kiwi Foot
Auckland Mobility Devices
Client: Marshall Basham, entrepreneur and long-time crutch user
For long-term crutch users, pain in the wrists, elbows, and shoulders and other overuse injuries are all too common. As an entrepreneur and as a crutch user himself, Marshall Basham knew that there had to be a way to avoid these painful side effects. Crutch Shock, a shock-absorber for crutches, and Kiwi Foot, an inexpensive crutch tip with superior durability, were born as the solution.
Marshall felt confident that both products could last longer, provide better performance than competing products, and save crutch users money in the long-run. However, sales were not living up to Auckland Mobility Devices’ expectations. The TREAT team of experts worked with Auckland Mobility Devices to evaluate their business model including product pricing and licensing strategy.
In addition to business and marketing guidance, TREAT pilot funding and in-kind services from Dartmouth’s Thayer School of Engineering made the design, construction, testing, and necessary documentation of the Kiwi Foot possible. Using an innovative custom testing rig, the product was able to conform to ISO crutch tip testing standards for durability and friction resistance.
The final test results were leveraged to show the clear advantage of the Kiwi Foot crutch tip compared to the much higher priced competitive products. The outcome: a boost in product sales and business sustainability for a product that was superior in both cost and performance. Auckland Mobility Devices has positioned themselves for more favorable licensing and sales agreements as a result of the success.
“Meeting the team at TREAT (Center for the Translation of Rehabilitation Engineering Advances in Technology) was a lifesaver. The medical device industry requires rigorous standards and safety testing from reputable independent laboratories to consider a product. The testing data and reports from the Thayer School of Engineering exceeded those requirements and opened many doors. I am now in formal talks with one of the largest players in the healthcare industry.”