Innovation is all about new solutions. For the creators of Avior Analytics, their personal experience with physical therapy led them to create an app to increase patient engagement resulting in improved patient outcomes. Their idea won the student award in the 2019 NIU EIGERlab FastPitch competition.
Ryan Wosick and Joe Scheidt were both wrestlers in high school and college. After they medically retired because of shoulder injuries, their path moving forward was uncertain. While their wrestling careers were over, their physical therapy continued.
“After four shoulder surgeries and over three years of physical therapy, I was unable to return to college wrestling, a sport I loved and into which I had put years of effort,” Ryan shared. “Looking back I realized my lack of motivation and engagement with my rehab process lead to inefficient and incomplete recoveries. I started Avior Analytics so that all patients can stay motivated throughout their rehab, receive the full recovery they deserve, and regain the ability to return to whatever activities they find most important in their lives.”
The team soon realized, from communicating with their physical therapists, that the engagement between patients and therapists impedes recovery; patients’ motivation typically fades before the injury is healed. They delved into the stats and were surprised to learn that a staggering 70% of patients neither adhere to nor complete their outlined care program. In addition to limiting the benefits of physical therapy for patients, missed appointments and unfinished therapies result in hundreds of thousands in lost revenues per clinic annually.
Based on their personal experiences, Ryan and Joe set out to create something that more realistically connected patients to their recovery programs. Their goal was to create an app that improves the results of physical therapy through increased patient engagement—empowering patients to take ownership of their care along their road to recovery.
“Ryan has been my closest friend since we wrestled on the same high school team together,” Joe shared. “After his injuries forced him out of sports I was excited to join his mission to improve the patient experience. I’ve had my own extensive physical therapy and I’ve found that patients need a strong relationship with their therapists in order to experience a full recovery. My goal for Avior is to build the foundation for better patient-therapist relationships.”
As they developed their app, they spoke to over 40 clinicians and their patients who confirmed their beliefs about the disconnect which often occurs between patients and physical therapists. They were then determined to create content-based software tools to assist with solidifying the physical therapist/patient connection and increase both patient adherence and outcomes.
The next steps were to align with app creators to bring their app to market. “The hiring vetting process was huge,” shared Joe. “By doing our homework, and electing to engage with a solopreneur vs. a larger tech firm, we saved a lot of money” Early on, Ryan and Joe had elected to bootstrap the creation of Avior Analytics utilizing their own personal funding and competition prize winnings. Believing that there was a need and that the duo would accomplish their goals, family and friends also assisted with funding the project. Moving forward, Ryan and Joe’s plans are to reinvest their revenues versus diluting the value of their business with outside funding.
“We are grateful for the input of physical therapists who realized the potential value of our app and volunteered to assist with its development by using it with their patients,” stated Joe. The team was fortunate that a large percentage of the clinics involved with the beta test did not want downtime without the app. These early adopters became Avior’s first clients.
Their soft launch was in March, just five months after FastPitch. “FastPitch was my first pitch in front of a live audience, and the experience has been incredibly valuable, Joe shared. “All entrepreneurs must learn to communicate their ideas with others. The skills I developed while preparing for FastPitch have been crucial to the successes I’ve had in the last few months participating in the CNVC accelerator program at the Booth School of Business and speaking to potential customers.”
To learn more about Avior Analytics, visit avioranalytics.net/.
To learn more about how NIU EIGERlab can assist with business development, visit eigerlab.org or phone 815.753.2192.