At a recent panel hosted by Harvard Medical School, entrepreneurs discussed their “technology for healthy aging.”
Among the participants was Phil Kongtcheu, CEO of eMotionRx. Kongtcheu’s startup is developing a range of medical devices such as exoskeletons for people hampered by aging, disabilities, or other mobility issues.
eMotionRx, based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, hopes its first device, the “PhilGood,” passes regulatory checkpoints to reach the public by year-end.
Designed to assist and secure those immobilized from the waist down, the device works as a stand-up desk that not only encourages the body to regain strength, but enables the user to be highly productive in an professional setting — an undervalued emotional benefit.
Other assistive mobility gear from eMotionRx under development includes smart insoles and knee braces which track your strides in order to improve gait and posture. The company also is developing a self-powered exoskeleton that taps into the user’s arm strength to power their legs.
Kongtcheu, a Cameroon native and former Wall Street trader, is also a polio survivor after contracting the disease at six months. A bout of post-polio syndrome in May 2011 paralyzed him from the waist down, a condition from which he spent three years rehabilitating.
“The original and key ideas on the products are mine, but I work with a team of highly talented designers and engineers,” Kongtcheu said. “The ideas come from living with a disability all my life, and also from my advocacy on behalf of people with disabilities.
“I am a member of the Cambridge Commission for Persons with Disabilities, and the a council member of the government entity charged with supporting the use of assistive devices, in the Commonwealth, MASSMATCH. These engagements allow me to volunteer on issues that matter to me, but also to broaden my insights into the many-faceted issues faced by people with disabilities, and the role of assistive technology.”