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Editor Memo: Time to disrupt pediatric care

In many areas of pediatric medicine, treatment for kids hasn’t caught up with consequential advances in adult healthcare. The FDA, for example, estimates that development of child-specific medical devices typically lags five to ten years behind new adult technologies.

A story in this issue profiles two companies trying to disrupt a current standard of care for kids (see “Biotechnology startups break into pediatric care,” page 39). One, Augment Therapy, was founded by Lindsay Watson, PT, MPT, a pediatric physical therapist developing a software platform that blends telemedicine and augmented reality, the combination of real-world and interactive digital environments, to give children a fun, immersive physical therapy experience.

Watson thought of the solution several years before starting to develop it, thinking someone else would soon see the same possibilities and create the tool she envisioned. Tools did appear, but Watson, looking at the teams behind them and seeing that “there wasn’t a clinician in sight,” knew she could do better.

Now, her company is beginning pilot testing with the plug-and-play solution she hopes will soon be used in hospitals, clinics, and home settings.

Do you have a great idea for bridging a gap in the way lower extremity care for kids is accessed or delivered? Top healthcare startups garnered more than $1.7 billion in funding in the last two years, according to Healthcare Weekly. With investors opening their pockets, now may be the time to consider whether you could turn your brainstorm into a solution that improves care for children. Email me at emily@lermagazine.com.

By Emily Delzell, Senior Editor

News


Kickball has surprising burden of moderate to severe injuries

Game sends 10,000 kids a year to ED. Kickball, a traditional and ubiquitous school­yard game children often begin playing as early as preschool, has higher rates of injury than martial arts and tennis, according to an epidemiological review from the University of Pennsylvania that calls for heightened awareness of the risks and modifi­- cations to the way the game is played.

By Emily Delzell

AFOs improve postsurgical gait in kids with spastic unilateral CP   

Devices correct residual drop-foot. Compared with walking barefoot, ankle foot orthoses (AFOs) improved gait parameters in children with spastic unilateral cerebral palsy a year after they had undergone lower limb surgery to improve their ambulation, according to research from Norway. Children with spastic unilateral cerebral palsy often have gait deviations that are most frequently caused by…

By Emily Delzell

Features


Biotechnology startups break into pediatric care

Companies looking to bring to market the next great solution to a thorny problem in medical care for children and adolescents are forming across the nation. The market is ripe for disruptive ideas, but to succeed, entrepreneurs have to show investors and clinicians that what they’re selling can truly make a difference.

By Keith Loria and Emily Delzell