ShapeLog StrengthTracker/Strength Coaching Tool

ShapeLog is a strength coaching tool that uses accurate, verified data. It can be clipped onto gym equipment to record strength training data in real-time that is both accurate and has a seamless user experience. Strength training in the weight room gets recorded using patent-pending technology, and creates an individualized plan based on performance data. There’s no separate wearable since the strength data gets wirelessly transmitted right next to other data in your fitbit, apple, garmin or withings dashboard.For this Market Discovery Challenge, The Searchlite will do a market customer validation for ShapeLog in the Physical Therapy arena. This will enable them to develop their market strategy to physical therapy centers and develop their commercialization plans.


Case Study: Trends in Patient Outcome

Measurements for Physical Therapy Industry
The SearchLite collaborated with ShapeLog, a fitness technology startup in Ann Arbor, MI, to conduct a market assessment that looked into the Physical Therapy market segment and delivered customer validation outputs that will be helpful to ShapeLog as they invest precious resources into marketing communications, sales, marketing automation and other commercialization activities. The goal of the market assessment was to understand current state-of-the-art practices, how strength resistance is measured in physical therapy clinics and associated opportunities for better outcome measurements using biometric devices. The scope of the market assessment included 12 industry expert interviews and extensive secondary research, online discussion forum engagement, surveys and synthesis and analysis.Using a combination of primary and secondary research, The SearchLite sought to understand how PT businesses operate at the transactional level. While secondary research indicated common pains and emerging trends in the PT market, primary research through phone interviews with subject matter experts helped validate those findings as well as identify potential collaborators for ShapeLog beta testing and further engagement.

Using a combination of primary and secondary research, The SearchLite sought to understand how PT businesses operate at the transactional level. While secondary research indicated common pains and emerging trends in the PT market, primary research through phone interviews with subject matter experts helped validate those findings as well as identify potential collaborators for ShapeLog beta testing and further engagement.The SearchLite found that there is a growing trend of switching from handwritten notes to online recording (like WebPT). Also, there are varying levels of electronic medical recording (EMR) system adoption between regions and states.

The SearchLite found that there is a growing trend of switching from handwritten notes to online recording (like WebPT). Also, there are varying levels of electronic medical recording (EMR) system adoption between regions and states.Using detailed analysis of secondary research data, The SearchLite was also able to generate a competitive landscape of ShapeLog’s major competitors that included details of

Using detailed analysis of secondary research data, The SearchLite was also able to generate a competitive landscape of ShapeLog’s major competitors that included details of product-features, uses and price points.Another interesting finding during the primary research was the growing number of PT clinics that are shifting from the insurance-based model to a cash-based model (Another interesting finding during the primary research was the growing number of PT clinics that are shifting from the insurance-based model to a cash-based model (customer driven healthcare model) due to restrictions placed by insurance companies and the cost of collecting payments. Also, cash pay model facilitates better patient care (1 hour instead of 20-30 min) and easier payment methods.Force gauges, despite being expensive, continues to be adopted by PTs to replace manual testing especially in workers compensation and occupational therapy.

Force gauges, despite being expensive, continues to be adopted by PTs to replace manual testing especially in workers compensation and occupational therapy.
During the phone interviews with PT business owners, The SearchLite realized that while everyone had some awareness on the emerging trend of outcome-based reimbursement over fee-for-service, there was no sense of urgency for a change in strategy or business practices. As a result, the stage is not yet set for biometric devices to penetrate the market profitably. Even though there are federal mandates since 2014 for healthcare professionals to move to electronic medical and health records, there is no similar push for PTs to switch to an electronic system. Therefore, none of the therapists or clinics saw ShapeLog as the solution to their most pressing problems.

By taking advantage of The Searchlite’s objective, systematic market assessment approach, ShapeLog quickly realized that their device does not relieve the urgent pain points of PT businesses, and hence lacks product-market fit with PT business owners.

Given that ShapeLog’s major focus is fitness technology in gyms and fitness centers, The Searchlite decided to pivot and make its next step to reach out to fitness equipment manufacturers and assess ShapeLog’s product-market fit in fitness training. This helped us identify that there is a “Leaky Bucket Syndrome” with high attrition of memberships attending a gym and a huge push towards finding new ways of engagement and retention of members. Furthermore, stand-alone clubs are more receptive to innovation whereas large chains are slow to adopt new products. Notably, equipment makers (Life Fitness, Precor, Technogym and Star Trac) rather than fitness club may be more interested in quantitative measurements of force and resistance to enhance their offerings.

Another area that TSL explored was academic research studies. Secondary research also identified that muscle and bone researchers are best-suited to benefit from ShapeLog’s technology. The high-resolution data will provide added information about the power and speed of a workout – not just weight and reps. Understanding how muscles and bone respond to various strain rates will lead to increased funding opportunities, and might lead to better guidelines for training and interventions to combat aging and other conditions. ShapeLog stands to gain several benefits by engaging with researchers such as generating research publications that will validate and enhance ShapeLog’s technological credibility, raise research funding and grants, and generate high-value marketing material and industry buzz.

The SearchLite recommended that ShapeLog should:

  • Focus on marketing for early adopters in the PT industry.
  • Focus on Fitness facilities for now, specifically early adopters.
  • Partner in muscle and bone research in order to publish white papers and/ or apply for research grants.
  • Follow up in 6 months to 1 year with a subset of interviewees.

The Searchlite team was able to navigate the EMS world and identify best routes for market penetration for the next generation product of Halo Seal. They also uncovered several potential avenues to consider for our sales outreach including advice on our upcoming website. We are extremely happy with the results of the effort they put in.

-- Stuart Shulman

President, Medical Devices, Inc


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