MANSFIELD, Ontario, September 16 , 2016 – The iWALK2.0, an award winning medical mobility device originally designed for those with a leg injury below the knee, returns to MEDICA, the world’s largest annual medical trade fair, November 14-17 in Düsseldorf, Germany – with a new compound rubber sole. But the soul of the improved iWALK2.0 remains the same; it was built to end the pain and inconvenience of conventional hands-on crutches through carefully engineered design – qualities a whole new amputee market for the iWALK2.0 is quickly discovering.
“We did many things right with the iWALK2.0 the first time around, so it didn’t need a redesign,” explains Brad Hunter, California-based Director of Business Development for iWALKFree, Inc. “But based on our customer feedback (from users now in 21 countries), we’ve augmented the foam padding for the knee, making it more comfortable, and so it will last longer. We’ve also improved the strap system so the iWALK2.0 is faster to get in and out of.
“But best of all we’ve partnered with the Vibram company in Italy. They are one of the world’s oldest and most respected manufacturers of soles for boots and shoes. And they know more about rubber compounding than anybody else. So we’ve been working with Vibram in their labs and now we are using a time-tested, benchmarked Vibram compound which they recommended that is ideal for the iWALK’s tread.”
The results, reports Hunter, are nothing short of astounding: “Without changing the tread’s basic dimensions, the ‘foot’ on our crutch now enjoys more shock absorption plus we now have over 47% better traction in wet or other traction compromised conditions and it can be as much as three times better traction with the Vibram sole!”
All this development is not because iWALK users have a history of accidents. “In all our 15-year history we’ve never had an injury report to this day – never,” affirms Hunter. “Injuries stemming from wearing an iWALK are not a problem for us, but we thought: if we can improve it with a better tread, why not?
One upshot of the better Vibram traction on wet surfaces, says Hunter, is that more and more people are using the iWALK2.0 in the shower: “We all know how slippery and treacherous a shower can be even in your bare feet, especially if you are limited to using only the foot on your uninjured leg.”
One expected development for Hunter and iWALKFree is the burgeoning interest in the iWALK2.0 among lower-leg amputees. “We didn’t go looking for the amputee community, but now they are coming to us as fast as they can,” admits Hunter. “Though it wasn’t designed with them in mind, the iWALK2.0 makes great sense for amputees when you think about it. Indeed, they’re telling us it’s turning out to be a game-changer for them.”
As Hunter has learned, it may be many painful months before an amputee can walk with and be comfortable on a permanent lower-leg prosthetic. In the meantime, the consequent lack of exercise for patients can mean muscles in both legs atrophy, possibly lose their muscle memory, and result in a general loss of physical condition, leading to other possible complications both physical and mental.
“Our crutch can give amputees their life back almost right away, reportedly two weeks after an amputation. So immediately an amputee can have much the same mobility and independence they had before, yet their hands are still free for other activities,” says Hunter. “And it can be even better for those having an elective amputation because they can practice on the iWALK before their operation.”
Hunter adds that the company is currently conducting two case studies, one in Great Britain and the other in the United States, involving amputee users of the iWALK 2.0.
To see the iWALK2.0 demonstrated and learn more about iWALKFree, Inc., please visit us during MEDICA 2016 at the Ontario/Canada Pavilion, Hall 16, Booth G42. You can also locate us in “Companies & Products" on the medica-tradefair.com portal.
In the meantime, for more information about the iWALK2.0 visit www.iwalk-free.com – and if you have additional questions or want to interview Brad Hunter, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1-562-653-4222.