New technology aims to revolutionize the orthopedic manual therapy industry
A new device that would allow physical therapists to monitor the level of pressure they apply to the soft tissue of patients seeking greater mobility and pain relief, developed by Indiana University researchers, is one step closer to the healthcare market.
Health Smart Technologies, a startup company formed by Terry Loghmani, PT, Ph.D., an associate professor of physical therapy at the IU School of Health and Human Sciences at IUPUI, with co-founders Sohel Anwar, PE, Ph.D., and Stanley Chien ECE, Ph.D., of the Purdue School of Engineering and Technology at IUPUI, has been acquired by BVS Muscle. With the acquisition, BVS Muscle, a new portfolio company from Indianapolis-headquartered Boomerang Ventures, will exclusively license the researchers’ quantifiable soft tissue manipulation (QSTM) device system developed at IU.
Loghmani developed the QSTM device system with her engineering colleagues as a way to monitor the forces being applied during soft tissue manipulation in musculoskeletal pain conditions. Current methods cannot dose the amount of soft tissue manipulation; however, QSTM enables clinicians to monitor, progress and record the type of manual therapy forces they’re providing to help patients move better while reducing their pain. The QSTM technology can also be used for training and research purposes.
“QSTM is to manual therapy what the Fitbit is to exercise, Loghmani said. “QSTM better enables individuals’ rehabilitation using objective measures to set and achieve goals. This progressive technology fills a recognized need to integrate patient feedback and clinician perception with quantitative metrics, creating a positive shift to the digitally informed era of evidence-based soft tissue manual therapy practice.”
Loghmani is a physical therapist, orthopedic manual therapist, massage therapist and an instrument-assisted soft tissue manipulation expert whose research has helped advance the manual therapy field. Her teaching is focused on the foundations of physical therapy examination and assessment.
Before arriving at IU in 1998, she was the first physical therapist to work with the Graston Technique to help develop the protocols and training program for the modern-day forerunner of instrument-assisted soft tissue manipulation. She received a bachelor’s degree in physical therapy from IU, a master’s degree in physical therapy from the University of Indianapolis, and a doctorate from IU in anatomy and cell biology.
“Terry’s knowledge in academia and clinical care was one of the main reasons we were interested in this device. This technology revolutionizes the manual therapy industry and does a phenomenal job of helping patients,” said Dick Aderman, studio director of Boomerang Ventures, a combination venture studio and venture fund that partners with founders, investors and institutions to leverage new technologies to improve health care. “Bringing healthcare products to life from universities is textbook for us. We are excited to commercialize this device to help improve patient outcomes and help clinicians such as physical therapists, chiropractors and massage therapists advance manual therapies.”
Currently, the device is in the prototype stage, and BVS Muscle will be working to assess its market potential to commercialize the device.
IU Innovation and Commercialization Office
These innovations were disclosed to the IU Innovation and Commercialization Office. The mission of the office is to transfer IU innovations from lab to market for public benefit and global impact. The office filed patents to facilitate commercialization of the innovation. IU personnel can disclose an invention online.
Founded in 2019, Boomerang Ventures is a venture capital firm focused on early growth-stage connected health technology companies. Leveraging a combination studio and venture fund, Boomerang provides the collaborative direction, deep industry expertise and continuum of support founders need to take their innovations from ideation to market. Boomerang believes that better patient care begins with identifying and solving the biggest challenges in healthcare. Boomerang Ventures is proudly and strategically based in Indianapolis, where the healthcare and entrepreneurial business climate is a thriving community ripe with opportunities. With a secure niche at the intersection of health technology, studio-fund synchronization and the Midwest, Boomerang differentiates itself from the competition. Boomerang Ventures is Healthcare Innovation, Reimagined. Learn more at boomerang.vc.
Bri Heron, technology marketing manager at Indiana University’s Innovation and Commercialization Office, contributed this story.