Company founded on innovation developed at Georgia Tech forms partnership with leading compression garment manufacturer
Nate Frank and Mike Weiler
A small company built around technology developed by researchers in the Petit Institute for Bioengineering and Bioscience at Georgia Tech is realizing some big dreams with the announcement of a new business partnership.
Georgia Tech alumni Nate Frank and Mike Weiler, co-founders of LymphaTech, announced their partnership with medi® to launch medi vision, a new compression garment measuring experience that creates a fast and accurate digital scan for patients affected by edema and other conditions requiring medical compression. LymphaTech and medi® made the announcement at the National Lymphedema Network conference in Boston in October.
Weiler was still pursuing his Ph.D. in Bioengineering as a member of researcher Brandon Dixon’s lab in the Petit Institute when he met Frank in 2012 while participating in the Georgia Tech TI:GER® (Technology Innovation: Generating Economic Results) program. Frank was an MBA student at the time. They teamed up and started the company originally built using technology Weiler developed in Dixon’s lab.
Dixon, associate professor in the Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering at Georgia Tech and Emory, and the Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering at Tech, a co-founder of LymphaTech, heads the company’s scientific advisory board. Weiler is CEO and Frank is COO
“This is a great success story” says Margi Berbari, former TI:GER® director. “The current LymphaTech team is the original TI:GER® team and they are employing the technology innovation they developed in the TIGER® program.”
Weiler adds, “The TI:GER® curriculum enabled us to perform the initial market assessments and identify the opportunity within the industry. Our business model today is similar to the business model canvas that we developed during TI:GER®. We have continued to make improvements to the technology, but our original product-market fit and market segmentation still accurately reflect our business.”
First the team had to generate convincing clinical data to gain partnerships and sales. They partnered with a research group from Washington University in St. Louis that participated with several other organizations, including the Task Force for Global Health and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Frank and Weiler conducted their first field study at a lymphedema clinic in Sri Lanka where they completed a comprehensive measurement validation study collecting data necessary to develop partnerships in the U.S.
Edema is the accumulation of excess fluid in the body, which may arise from a variety of conditions including diseases of the blood vasculature and the lymphatic system. One of the main treatments for edema is the application of medical compression garments, which can take the form of standardized, ready-to-wear garments and custom-made garments. Medi® is one of the industry leaders in medical compression, providing a wide array of medical compression garments targeting venous and lymphatic conditions, while also providing orthopedic products as a worldwide leader in orthopedic bracing.
LymphaTech’s core technology is a hand-held clinical tool for mobile 3D measuring that provides fast, accurate and reliable human body imaging and measurements. In only 60 seconds, the LymphaTech software generates a full 3D model of the limbs with limb volume and circumference measurement outputs. These measurements enable a high-resolution assessment of the geometry of the limb, which can be useful for single timepoint measurements and longitudinal tracking over time.
The partnership between LymphaTech and medi® and the launch of medi vision is the first commercial implementation of a hand-held, high-resolution 3D scanning tech specifically utilized for sizing and fitting compression garments. Medi vision utilizes a custom version of the LymphaTech 3D measuring software that is optimized to automatically generate the measurements specific for medi® compression garments. The platform then allows the measurements to be directly sent to the medi® custom E-shop for immediate garment ordering and product configuration.
“Until now, compression garments were measured with a standard tailor's tape measure, which is time consuming and is prone to significant measurement error,” says Frank.
. The synergy of our 3D measuring system applied to optimize the compression garment fitting process is clear - the more accurate the measurement, the better fitting and performing garment. The result is a faster and more reliable measuring process leading to a better fitting, more effective compression garment.”
The current LymphaTech device can be used widely for measuring and monitoring human body geometry. Applications include physical therapy, vein diseases, lung care, orthopedics, and monitoring recovery after ACL surgeries. Weiler and Frank plan to expand use of LymphaTech innovations across multiple brands to better penetrate multiple markets.
This partnership currently operates in the U.S. and Germany but will expand to more countries in the near future.
Communications Officer II
Parker H. Petit Institute for
Bioengineering and Bioscience