Healthcare Innovation Challenge Selects Innovative Walking Cane

Published Mar-14-16

Breakthrough:
Inventor wins crowdsourcing innovation search with a novel walking cane that enhances stability. It also alleviates common pains associated with frequent use of walking sticks.

Company:
Rite Aid, United States

The Story:

Healthcare Innovation Challenge Selects Innovative Walking Cane Nobody knows where the next medical and healthcare innovation will come from: could it be dreamed up by R&D departments, created in laboratories or designed in somebody's shed? One way to access potential breakthrough products is to widen search parameters to include the crowd.
There are millions of ideas out there and the next brilliant concept could be anywhere.

A crowdsourcing contest can be a win-win situation for inventors and businesses. For inventors, it provide a shortcut to get their ideas to key decision makers. While firms benefit by adding to their product pipeline. They can also save on some of their R&D spend if they source product concepts that are already well or fully developed.

The Rite Aid Innovation Challenge

In 2015, US-based drug store chain launched its first ever innovation challenge, a nationwide crowdsourcing competition to find an innovative product idea or invention that could help to improve lives.

The contest was held in partnership with Edison Nation Medical and was open to anyone with a great idea, no matter how big or small.

The challenge generated more than 700 submissions from Rite Aid associates as well as consumers. Each one was put through an eight-stage evaluation process conducted by Edison Nation Medical.

Selected Innovation

Out of all the tendered ideas, the Tri-Tip Walking Cane was selected for further development and sale to the public. This ergonomic walking cane was created by Jamie Jordan, an engineer based in Texas.

The nifty assist uses a revolutionary design, featuring three independently functioning legs for added stability and it employs a spring-loaded, shock absorbing system. This alleviates common hand, wrist, shoulder and back pains associated with traditional walking canes.

Innovation Journey

The innovation has been about 10 years in the making, and started when one of Jamie's friends, a physical therapist mentioned a common problem he noticed with walking sticks. That was the high fall rate of those of his patients who used quad canes as well as the aches and pains felt by cane users. This set Jamie’s creative cogs in motion.

“We congratulate and thank Jamie for participating in Rite Aid’s first-ever Innovation Challenge,” said David Abelman, Rite Aid executive vice president of marketing.

“Rite Aid is excited to introduce the Tri-Tip Walking Cane to customers as part of our existing home health care offering, and we think it will be well received by patients and customers who use canes, as well as caregivers, as a safe solution for maintaining daily mobility.”

Coming Soon to a Rite Aid Store

The innovative cane is scheduled to appear in Rite Aid's bricks and mortar stores (of which there are nearly 4,600 in 31 US states and the District of Columbia ) and the online store later in 2016.

For his efforts, Jamie received a check for $2,500 and he will earn 50% of licensing royalties for the duration of the licensing agreement.

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