Health Care, Small Business & Startups, and Technology

Partnership brings shoulder brace closer to market

August 28, 2017
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Dr. James Lebolt left and Eric VanMiddendrop
Eric VanMiddendrop, left, of Spectrum Health Innovations and Dr. James Lebolt of Spectrum Health Medical Group. Courtesy Spectrum Health

A lakeshore biotech startup has partnered with a local health care organization to manufacture a shoulder brace to support injury recovery.

Genesis Innovation Group is teaming with Spectrum Health Innovations to produce the Dynamic Tensioning Shoulder Brace, developed by Spectrum Health orthopedic surgeon and sports medicine specialist James Lebolt. The brace is designed to support patients recovering from injuries to the rotator cuff, labrum or other muscles or tendons supporting the shoulder joint.

“Shoulder injuries can take people completely out of the game, because existing technology can’t stabilize their shoulder to heal quickly or it severely limits their mobility,” Lebolt said. “Bringing the Dynamic Tensioning Shoulder Brace to market will help more than 5.4 million people, many of them young athletes, who suffer and cope with the effects of traumatic shoulder injuries.”

Genesis will work with Lebolt and Spectrum Health Innovations to produce up to 10 functional prototypes that will then be tested for marketability and receive feedback from potential patients. The 26-week project will lay the groundwork for a potential mid-2019 product launch.

Spectrum Health Innovations is an initiative by the Grand Rapids-based health care system to encourage and foster innovative techniques and processes by Spectrum Health staff and doctors. The program focuses specifically on the development and launch of health care products and technologies as well as new business strategies for transformative health care.

Genesis leverages an experienced team in medical device development and Spectrum Health Innovations director Brent Mulder said the strategic partnership is necessary to help bring these products to market.

“Combining Dr. Lebolt’s deep expertise in orthopedic medicine and the mechanical expertise of the Spectrum Health Innovations team, the early performance of the Dynamic Tensioning Shoulder Brace is very promising,” Genesis executive chairman Rob Ball added. “Their initial work has now advanced to the stage where Dr. Lebolt and SHI are partnering to further develop the shoulder brace to a stage closer to commercial readiness.”

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