A company called FlexLeg has a motto -- "mobility redefined" -- that may just as well say crutches redefined. The three-person team at FlexLeg is offering a hands-free device to serve as a substitute for crutches for those with temporary lower leg injuries, such as a broken ankle. The companys seeing-is-believing videos show a person with a lower-leg injury wearing FlexLeg and running down a corridor, making it down a flight of stairs, and navigating different terrains, from smooth surfaces to bumpy walkways.
The purpose of the device is to give the user a mobility solution during the recovery state when the person has sustained an injury to the lower leg. The accent could be on temporary and recovery, as the device should not be confused with the more sophisticated devices that are used as substitutes for missing body parts. To be clear, says a FlexLeg comment, FlexLeg is not a prosthetic, although it draws upon some of the technology in the industry. The frame is constructed from aircraft grade aluminum and is lightweight.
The creators behind FlexLeg are from Brigham Young University. Mike Sanders, a masters student in mechanical engineering, wanted to develop a better solution than was currently available to help people with injured legs to walk. He traded ideas with another student, Mark Roberts, and they built several prototypes. Seth Gonzalez, an MBA student at BYU, joined FlexLeg to guide the inventors with a business plan to get the company going.
Those who have experienced hands-on crutches recognize the limitations in mobility, for sure, such as slow movements, difficulty getting through doors, and difficulty in maneuvering narrow aisles. A hands-free device that allows for faster and easier movement across different terrains can make a difference.
The company is readying the device to be available for purchase in July this year. The FlexLeg team is completing their beta models to be distributed to selected patients for testing for several week periods. The company also says it is working with strategic partners for entry into a national market.