How’s your back feeling right now? About 80 percent of Americans experience significant back pain sometime in their lives and that pain costs more than $50 billion per year. It’s a leading cause of missed work days, disability claims, and visits to the doctor, outnumbered by only the common cold. LUMOback from zero2one is hoping to do something about that.
Founded in 2011 with three full-time employees and eight contractors, LUMOback is an automated posture coach. It uses a small, flexible sensor that adhesively attaches to a person’s back. It monitors how you are moving and sitting in real-time, giving a little “buzz” when you are standing or sitting poorly.
The technology was announced today during the 2011 Fall Demo conference in Santa Clara, CA.
“We believe we are at a unique moment in time where we can combine emerging technologies, data and intelligent algorithms to empower each of us to do the little things in life that can dramatically improve our lives ,” says zero2one founder Monisha Perkash. “We don’t have to rely on the healthcare systems to do this for us.”
Competitors include posture monitor iPosture and PostureTrack, but LUMOback uses a different type of sensor technology and has mobile phone processing capabilities. LUMOback’s mobile app connects wirelessly to the sensor and provides a daily progress report. People learn how active they were and how well they sat. They can create personal goals and get education to help reach them. Then there’s the social aspect: Users can connect with people suffering from similar pain and posture issues to get exercise tips and other relevant information.
Zero2one’s LUMOBack has been given $150,000 from Eric Schmidt’s Innovation Endeavors. The company is based in Palo Alto.
“The Innovation Endeavors venture fund picked our founding team of Stanford graduates, a physician, an MBA, and an engineer to explore bold business opportunities that can change the world,” says zero2one founder Monisha Perkash in an email interview. “After spending six months full-time assessing 53 different opportunities, we killed 52 of them and chose one that is a massive problem with true unmet needs: back pain.”
You can signup for LUMOback beta testing at http://www.lumoback.com. I just did.
LUMOback is one of 80 companies chosen by VentureBeat to launch at the DEMO Fall 2011 event taking place this week in Silicon Valley. After our selection, the companies pay a fee to present. Our coverage of them remains objective.