OU INC Client Successfully Spins off Innovative Company Safe Balance
The Oakland University Incubator (OU INC), a Smart Zone Business Accelerator, took occupational therapist Nathan Barnett under its wing and mentored him on how to transform his idea of creating an objective system for accurately testing an elderly person’s balance and suggesting ways to minimize the risk of falls into a reality.
Barnett officially launches his new “Safe Balance” concept during an open house at 9 a.m. on Friday, October 14 at American House, 2440 Middlebelt Road in Farmington Hills. Social workers, hospital transitional care planners home health care executives, executive directors, directors of operations and directors of nursing at Independent Living and Assisted Living Communities have all been invited to learn the advantages of the “Safe Balance” system.
“This is a new concept for a very old problem,” said Barnett. “Safe Balance” is revolutionary because of the many ways it can prolong independence for the elderly and create peace of mind for them and their loved ones. An unexpected fall can have catastrophic consequences. Safe Balance plays a key role in preventing this from happening. I couldn’t have taken my idea to a market-ready position without the guidance and resources of OU INC.”
While balance testing has been around a while, the subjective measures utilized lacked reliability, consistency and ability to accurately detect the presence of a heightened risk of debilitating or deadly falls. Barnett believes that without a proper metric to identify risk, fall-related injuries will continue to skyrocket.
That is why Barnett created the Dynamic Arc: Functional Balance Testing System. The Dynamic Arc is a portable device with a software component that identifies the presence of a fall risk, quantifies the impairment severity and provides clarity to the physician and/or therapist to facilitate focused treatment.
Barnett’s company, Functional Innovation Enterprises soon became an attractive business investment. In the spring of 2016, Avantius Medical Equipment was formed as a joint venture between Barnett and entrepreneur Frederic Jouhet.
Surging growth and opportunity in the balance-testing market led Barnett and Jouhet to spin off the old company into a new one called Safe Balance.
At the same time, the Oakland University Incubator provided Barnett with access to resources and networks, as well as funding through the Business Accelerator Fund along with guidance from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation.
“Nathan has successfully navigated through several key milestones of entrepreneurship, particularly in the medical field,” said Amy Butler, executive director of OU INC. “He saw a need, developed a solution, brought it to commercialization and then was able to look at broader application and use. His determination and skillset, coupled with leveraging available resources, positioned him to attract new venture partners. He has been a great client to work with.”
# # #
About Safe Balance
Safe Balance currently serves all levels of senior communities from Independent Living, Senior Living and Nursing Home/Rehabilitation Centers. The advantages of Safe Balance are decreased liability exposure, and greater peace of mind to family/residents. More information can be found at www.safe-balance.com.
About OU INC
OU INC is a Smartzone Business Incubator and Innovation Center, in collaboration with the City of Rochester Hills, Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC), and strategic industry partners. With a focus on the energy, medical device, and information technology sectors, OU INC provides entrepreneurial resources and strategic business solutions for developing business ventures and accelerating ideas to market. OU INC is a designated Soft Landing Facility through the International Business Innovation Association for international companies. For more information go to http://www.oakland.edu/ouinc.