Alba-Technic Developing Innovative Hip Protecting Device
[WINTHROP, ME – March 2018] Alba-Technic, a Research and Development firm in Kennebec County, has been awarded a $225,000 grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to support the development of the Hip Defender™, a hip protector for the elderly that features advanced materials and technology infused with a fashionable design.
Hip fracture is one of the most serious fall-related injuries in older adults, with a high rate of mortality and disability. Within one year following a hip injury, 20% of elderly die and 30% of community dwellers are placed in nursing homes. Accordingly, hip injury prevention in the elderly is an increasingly important health concern, yet “technology has not significantly improved the design nor protection of hip protectors currently on the market – they are still bulky, and uncomfortable, therefore, most people will not wear them,” according to Alba-Technic CEO Jim Ferguson. “With this award, Alba-Technic will build upon our patented EVO2™ impact resisting system to design the next generation of hip protectors that people will actually want to wear, thus preventing countless hip injuries and even deaths,” asserts Ferguson.
This NIH grant is the latest addition to Alba-Technic’s growing list of funders, which already includes the Maine Technology Institute, National Science Foundation, National Football League (NFL), Under Amour, NIST, and others. High-profile collaborators will be working with Alba-Technic in development of the Hip Defender™, including world-class researchers at the University of Maine, Orono Center on Aging, UCLA Professor of Medicine Dr. Steve Castle, and Industrial fashion designer Claudia Rebola Ph.D.
Alba-Technic, LLC is a small business committed to developing personal protective products based on its patented shock-absorbing technologies (EVO2™) that help prevent serious injury. The Hip Defender™ will be a non-stigmatizing, aesthetically pleasing hip protective wear that protects elderly persons susceptible to falls. The Hip Defender™ is the company’s second product and is an important next step in Alba-Technic’s mission to empower people to be safe while enjoying the activities they love, regardless of age.