HK Manufacturer introduces interactive weight-bearing exercise technology which helps enter elderly market quickly
According to the Census and Statistics Department projections, the number of elderly people (aged 65 or above) will increase from 940,000 in 2011 to 2.5 million in 2039, resulting to a huge market potential for elderlies. There are local manufacturers which observed that more and more middle-aged and elderly face age issues including decreased muscle strength and osteoporosis, they introduced an interactive weight-bearing exercise technology supported with scientific and clinical evidence by intellectual property transactions to enter the elderly market. At present, the product has attracted over one hundred local nursing homes and hospitals, as well as other public and social welfare agencies.
V-Health Limited’s director of business development, said the company has always been engaged in manufacturing industry businesses. One day, she coincidentally contacted with a local university as she found the research about sports science and technology relating to interactive weight. "We realized that the problem of aging population is getting worse, more middle-aged and elderly people face health problems including decreased muscle strength, lack of balance, osteoporosis, blood circulation and immune system related problems, at the same time, lots of city citizens cannot free up time for exercise due to their busy social life, resulting in a younger trend in chronic diseases. In view of that, the company established another new company in 2009, and negotiated with the University about the relevant technology. We then manufactured V-Health interactive weight-bearing exercise devices, hoping to help elderlies with health problems, or people whose target is to improve their physical fitness.
She mentioned that intellectual property transactions conducted in Hong Kong are very convenient, such as the massive support from relevant departments in charge from local colleges and universities; these have played an important part in promoting cooperation between universities and the industry.
V-Health exercise device can provide a high frequency and low amplitude vibration, which reaches the vibration frequency of 35Hz (35 times per second) and 0.3g (g is the gravitational acceleration). It also uses non-invasive biophysical methods and interactive weight-bearing exercises to provide vibration to stimulate the body's muscle and skeletal system. She noted that V-Health exercise device produce slight vibration amplitude and a displacement of less than 0.2 mm, which complied with the safety range of ISO 2631. It can also be applied to a variety of musculoskeletal system-related health problems. A number of studies have demonstrated, for example, by providing whole-body stimulating vibration, it can prevent and improve osteoporosis and related diseases, improve muscle (counterweight, leg extension strength, back pain), bone (bone density of the spine and lower limbs, blood circulation), and fracture rehabilitation (callus growth and bone remodelling).
The company first authorized the technology interactive weight-bearing exercise in 2009, and then spent a year on technology transfer and correction to facilitate mass production. She said that university R&D is only a beginning, the company must overcome many problems such as design, fine-tuning and stability for mass production, "for example, the initial prototype will make a slight noise, which is acceptable from the research point of view, but not for the commercial market!”
She pointed out that the company first focused on marketing to hospitals and public institutions, such as organizing seminars with physical therapists who recommend elderly usage. In addition, through participating exhibitions such as the HKTDC Better Living Expo and Hong Kong International Medical Devices and Supplies Fair, it improved the product’s reputation; they have been successfully entering the market quickly in a year. The existing products have attracted hundreds of local nursing homes, hospitals and other public and social welfare organizations such as the Tung Wah Group of Hospitals, Anglican and rehabilitation and elderly centers from various districts, each device is priced at about 25,000 HK dollars. "At present, there are more and more home users due to its simplicity. With an upright V-Health Movement instrument at home, and to swipe the smart card in a specific position of the control panel, the system will start after a few seconds. Hopefully we are able to expand to other markets especially the Mainland market after solidifying our position in the local Hong Kong market.”
In addition, Lee said that the local intellectual property agency has introduced I-ONE products which are specifically for the joints of patients from an Italy R&D and manufacture company to further expand their customer base. "I-ONE products have been awarded patents and related medical certification in terms of R&D, which is enlightening for us to promote our products to developed markets in the future; Hong Kong SMEs in the past failed to protect their intellectual property, when trading in overseas markets, the value of the product is often undervalued, and now we will put more emphasis on intellectual property to allow consumers to distinguish the merits of our products easily; At present, the company is I-ONE's exclusive agent in Hong Kong and Macau, and we plan to officially launch I-ONE products by the end of the year. "
As SMEs, human and financial resources are limited, she described. Having considered the cost-effectiveness, she discovered that buying new technology through intellectual property trade is relatively cost-effective compared with its own R & D, the rapid introduction of new technologies can also open up markets. Hong Kong has comprehensive professional services that emphasizes the protection of intellectual property and specializes in intellectual property trading from the universities. Those reasons above provided a solid foundation for Hong Kong to develop into an Intellectual Property Trade Center.
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