Saturday, August 17, 2013

MedHab Ready to RPM2

MedHab finally has a date for introducing its first product, RPM2, pronounced "RPM-Squared." gave a preliminary review of MedHab's retail product:

The basic idea of the product is this: Put four force measuring sensors and an accelerometer inside of a shoe insole and start gathering data. Transmit that data wirelessly to an iPhone or Android smartphone. Use this tool to learn information about the athlete’s range of motion, cadence, stride distance, and other metrics.

RPM2 says that you may use the device every day if you wish, but its real intent is for periodic testing and evaluation. How often should you use it? The baseline recommendation for most people is once per week. With that amount of regular use, they quote that the system will last for two years, depending on the weight of the user and duration of each session.

There are two models of RPM2, which determine the amount of features you get. The standard model costs $599 and is meant for running and other land-based sports, such as golf, tennis, and basketball. The ‘Triathlete’ model sells for $649, and includes everything that the standard model does – plus additional cycling features.

RPM2 also sells a ‘dummy’ version of the insole sans electronics for $30, for those that want to use the same insole for all of their activities. 

What the heck do I do with the data it provides? They were clear with me – RPM2 is like a power meter; it can only provide data. What you do with it is up to you and your coach, doctor, physical therapist, or other qualified expert. 
The official release date for RPM2 is September 1st, 2013. Note that the initial version is only for Android phones, as the iPhone software is still in the approval process with Apple. RPM2 quoted me an expected iPhone release date of October 1st, but that they’re hoping for sooner.

Note that there is a fee for use of the App, called a Monthly Monitoring Fee. The retail price for this is $20 per month for a month-to-month basis. RPM2 is offering reduced pricing for the initial product introduction, seen here:

RPM2 - $599

RPM2 Triathlete - $649

Monthly Monitoring Fee (purchased Sept 1 – Nov 30): $10/month for the first 12 months

Monthly Monitoring Fee (purchased Dec 1 – Feb 28): $15/month for the first 12 months

Monthly Monitoring Fee: $20/month or $180 for 12 months at any time
Company officials said RPMSquared will last two years under once a week use.  For innovators and early adopters that's 104 uses for $839, or $8 per use. 

The City of San Angelo beat out Abilene for MedHab production, only RPM-Squared will be manufactured in Athens, Texas and "finished in Rhode Island."  Units will be tested and distributed from San Angelo, which will house RPM-Squared's call center.

As for the San Angelo economic development agreement, it's front and center in MedHab's promotions:

MedHab needed to build alpha units in order to prove its concept and secure funding. TMAC’s Fernandez was charged with writing a gait algorithm that sensor manufacturers said couldn’t be done. However he succeeded and the alpha unit’s success helped the company secure $3.1M in private equity investment and $3.2M with the City of San Angelo. The success of the alpha units also contributes to the Federal Food and Drug agency approval process.

The project truly defines a collaborative effort. The company’s Operations VP in San Angelo is working with the TMAC office in WestTexas to write grant requests to the Texas Workforce Commission.  Besides TMAC’s technical projects, Angelo State College and Howard Community College will also be tapped to provide additional workforce development.
As for the Workforce grant request, it's no surprise that MedHab is tapping local, state and federal subsidies.  That's one way private equity firms lever returns.  I imagine Angelo State University and Howard College, MedHab collaborators, expected their current names to be used.

While MedHab's website is under construction, RPM-Squared's is up and running, complete with a White Paper recommending the product's use.  Customers can earn reward points and affiliates can help sell RPM-Squared and receive "a residual of $2.50 per person per month from the monthly monitoring fee, as long as the individual account is active and in good standing."  Everybody wins in this extrinsically motivated world, athletes/discount earners and coaches/therapists/affiliates.

Also, MedHab is "transitioning to an “S” corporation and is in the process of carefully selecting its Board of Directors."  Things are looking MedHabulous!

Update 7-3-15:  Slowtwitch has a MedHab-RPM user page

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