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Education
Sep 16, 2020

Something In The Way You Walk

Sponsored Content provided by Heather McWhorter - Interim Director, UNCW Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship

When you think about healthcare, you likely imagine nurses and physicians in hospitals and doctor’s offices. But the developers of SportGait found that those injured on the playing field would receive better care if a concussion could be identified immediately, and so developed tools and resources to bring a solution to the sidelines.

Incorporated in 2015, LifeGait (the parent company of SportGait) leverages the Internet of Things, big data and patented gait technology to develop health and safety products. Their motion tracking sensors analyze one’s walking gait to identify symptoms or changes in health.

In the last five years, they’ve made great strides. Taking advantage of their offices in UNCW’s Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, they’ve made inroads across all aspects of the University’s sports community, with both club sports and teams utilizing the platform.

The company also established a research consortium, led by UNCW and including Marshall University and the University of Tennessee Chattanooga. The consortium uses a neurocognitive battery from leading research company MHS to develop the next generation of concussion management medical devices. These will be produced here at UNCW, with undergrad and graduate students fully entrenched in bringing them to market.

Last year, SportGait co-authored two papers that have been published in peer reviewed journals. One of these, from the Archives of Clinical Neuropsychology, proved that their patented gait technology can facilitate remote diagnosis with telemedicine, allowing for injury screening that is equivalent to an on-site neurologist.

SportGait also made significant advances in the world of entrepreneurship. They were recently awarded entry into the prestigious Microsoft for Startups Ecosystem, which will open doors for them across numerous marketplaces plus will provide access to technologies for advancing discovery and delivery.

Sales are on the rise, too. SportGait was chosen as the enterprise-wide standard for the third largest health care system in the United states for concussion testing. Surely this impacted their funding. LifeGait recently raised roughly $200,000 in equity, adding to the $2 million raised since 2016, primarily from investors in our region.

The team behind SportGait has led numerous companies to success, and it shows in the way they develop their own ecosystem. By embracing innovators from across the medical sciences, they can further claim expertise for their systems and prove the value of their technology. They take the security of they systems seriously, too, with regular external audits to verify compliance.

We’re thrilled with the scale and success of the companies being developed here in Wilmington, and, specifically for us, at the CIE. We can foresee world-wide use of this concussion management platform to identify, track and monitor concussion-related symptoms. Whenever it is that we’re allowed back inside a stadium for soccer or football matches, you may see SportGait in use on the sidelines and feel the swelling of your own pride, because it’s Made In Wilmington.
 

Diane Durance, MPA, is director of UNC Wilmington's Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE). The CIE is a resource for the start-up and early-stage business community to help diversify the local economy with innovative solutions. For more information, visit www.uncw.edu/cie.

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