The young and hungry team of medical device experts behind the innovative Better Walk crutches has turned their eyes to prevention, with a new product that hopes to address and prevent injury before it happens. BWHealth’s Lasso looks like a sock (a fashion-forward one, to boot) but has the strength of a brace and the flexibility of ankle tape.
BWHealth’s founder Partha Unnava, who earned a Forbes 30 Under 30 designation for his work with the company’s first product, Better Walk crutches, says the patent-pending Lasso technology is the next step in the company’s mission to be the number-one innovator in the sports medicine technology space.
“We believe that there isn’t enough preventative thinking in medicine, and we wanted to create a product that would help patients before an injury,” says Unnava.
“If you move, Lasso is for you. Period,” he says.
The device uses targeted compression, modeled after disposable ankle taping, to allow for flexible movement while still providing support. It’s affordable ($29.99 per pair) and stylish. The name is a nod to Lassius, the son of the Greek god of medicine, and refers to “lasso-ing” in the ankle during movement.
Unnava says this product builds on the proven superiority of their first offering, the Better Walk crutches. Though originally conceived by Unnava in 2015 (following his own experience on traditional, AKA uncomfortable, crutches after an ankle break), this year saw the team really go to market with the product.
“We were excited to see some awesome customer feedback and stories, and several pro athletes who had an excellent experience on the product,” says Unnava.
The crutches use a patented system to provide improved forearm support and take pressure off of the user’s wrist and underarms.
Earlier this month, a runner in the New York Marathon brought the company into the national spotlight. Brandon LaBella sprained his ACL and MCL the week before the Marathon, but managed to finish it using Better Walk crutches.
“We were moved to see his perseverance to finish the marathon, and he ended up setting a world record for completing a marathon on crutches!” says Unnava.
BWHealth also revamped their e-commerce strategy this year, going directly to consumers and patients rather than through providers, and went through a company re-brand. They raised an undisclosed infusion of capital to accelerate operations, team growth, and product development.
Unnava says his goals for 2018 include continuing to build the team and client pipeline, as well as release a host of new devices.
“Within the medical industry, nobody has the engineering talent or culture to match our innovation ability,” says Unnava. “The goal is to lead the world in new medical technologies that improve access to motion, and a new product was just another step to show that we’re here and we’re not satisfied with what we’ve done so far.”
“After all, there’s no point in having a team as talented as mine if I didn’t let them use their full range of skills.”