Six months ago, about a year after placing orders at the 2017 Amputee Coalition National Conference, consumers got the first TheraV ELIX therapeutic devices available to the public.
Since then, CEO Amira Idris Radović and her team at TheraV have been collecting feedback — and it’s been good, she said.
“We’re finding that, for a lot of people, it is helping,” said Idris Radović, a biomedical engineer and a 2017 Hen Hatch winner. “Feedback shows that over 80% of the veterans [using the ELIX] are getting some form of benefit. Some are reporting that their pain level and intensity is going down, so that’s been very positive for us. The hope is to continue to do more studies to further validate what we’ve been hearing.”
One of the people using the ELIX is a member of the TheraV team — Jen Yung Lee, who has worked for the company as its outreach director, is himself an amputee, a veteran and a gold-medal Paralympic sled hockey player.
“He himself is part of the amputee community,” Idris Radović said. “What better way to get the word out there than by someone who actually experiences phantom limb pain who’s gotten the chance to use the device and knows its benefits?”
What exactly does the ELIX do? Worn over an amputation site, it uses vibrations to reduce phantom limb pain. As a wearable, drug-free treatment, it’s designed to increase everyday quality of life for people suffering from the sometimes debilitating pain.
2019 has been an exciting for TheraV — also a realLIST honoree — so far. Some highlights:
- The company raised money via a GoFundMe for 52 veterans with amputations to receive the ELIX for free. These vets, located all over the country, are among the people giving regular feedback on the device.
- TheraV was awarded a $2,000 Amber Grant from WomensNet in March; as a monthly winner, the company qualifies for the annual $25,000 Amber Grant, which will be announced in Decemberr.
- TheraV is one of two Delaware companies (the other being the education startup Fennell Adventures) selected for the top 100 in the FedEx Small Business Grant Contest. “The top 100 had to submit a video speaking about their passion and how that passion, either personal or business-wise plays a role into what we do in our company,” said Idris Radović. Based on the videos, 10 will receive grants, with the top two winning grants $30,000 and $50,000.
- Idris Radović was selected as a recipient of the 2019 Legacy Award from the Creativity Foundation.
TheraV’s main focus is on taking all of the feedback that’s been gathered and using it to improve the next generation of the ELIX.
“We only launched a limited number of devices to get feedback from our users before we do any kind of mass production,” she said. “We haven’t been doing any big marketing to push toward big sales yet.”
Currently, the ELIX, which you can order through the TheraV website, is selling at just a couple a month, almost all via word-of-mouth from other users: “That pace is perfectly fine right now with the limited number of devices that we have,” the founder said.
Idris Radović will be giving a lightning talk at Introduced by Technical.ly, a one-day Philly Tech Week presented by Comcast conference happening Thursday, May 9, in Center City Philadelphia. She will be featured during the session “Fail Better: Startup Founders and Stories of Resilience” from 4 to 5 p.m. in the Grow room.
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