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Center Receives $6.2m to Develop Rehabilitation and Assistive Technologies

Feb 04, 2016   |   Center for the Translation of Rehabilitation Engineering Advances and Technology

Say that you have an idea for a product that would not only help someone regain independence after an injury, but do it faster and better. What is the next step? How do you build it? How will it be sold? What are the future challenges or barriers that may derail a seemingly clear pathway to the marketplace? Between technical and business development, navigating intellectual property, regulatory, and reimbursement requirements, and developing strategies to verify that the technology works as intended, some of these hurdles can be incredibly overwhelming to overcome. Ideas with great potential may be left in the mind of the inventor or on a laboratory shelf, never getting into the hands of the people who would truly benefit from them the most – individuals with injuries or disabilities, clinicians, and educators. Established in 2010, The Center for Translation of Rehabilitation Engineering Advances and Technology (TREAT) provides education, consultation, and direct assistance to innovators seeking to bring their novel technology solutions to the marketplace.

TREAT was recently awarded five years of additional funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The $6.2M award will support the continuation and expansion of the center’s multiple programs and services. ... TREAT member organizations include The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice, Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth, Boston University’s School of Public Health, and Simbex – a leader in developing human solutions.

“The TREAT team comes from a broad range of backgrounds but we’re driven by a common passion to see needed new rehabilitation and assistive technologies get to the market where they can make a difference in society," says Solomon Diamond, PhD, Associate Professor of Engineering at Dartmouth. TREAT educational programs include self-guided instructional tools, such as the TREAT Technology and Market Assessment and online lecture series from Dartmouth. Additionally, TREAT offers commercialization services and seed funding through a competitive Pilot Project grant program. For individuals seeking an onsite opportunity to work with TREAT partners, the center offers sabbatical, internship, and fellowship opportunities.

The launch of TREAT’s new website and educational platform marks a strong start for the next phase of the center. “One key goal for TREAT moving forward is to stimulate additional interest in our platform in the medical investment community as part of our plan to sustain TREAT long-term and beyond full government funding," says Rick Greenwald, PhD, Co-Director of TREAT, President of Simbex, and Adjunct Associate Professor of Engineering at Dartmouth. “We are confident that there is interest in novel paradigms for technology commercialization, and we will present TREAT’s economic model for stimulating growth in this area for rehabilitation and assistive technologies.”

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