PointStick , DifferenceMakers
PointStick is a product that gives tactile and kinesthetic feedback to patients for both correct spinal alignment and breathing mechanics, which are the essentials for movement quality. Through experience, the team noticed that physical therapists often experience difficulty when having patients use the correct motions during their PT sessions. The PointStick device provides therapists with a product that patients can wear to assist them in using the correct movements, which leads to a faster recovery process.
Ramez Antoun '10, '13, a double alum, founded PointStick after receiving a bachelor’s ('10) and master’s degree ('13) in Physical Therapy from UMass Lowell. He then recruited a Graphic Design major, Nicholas Bleil '10 to help work on and market the product. Antoun and Bleil recruited two additional students; Mike Tadros and Robert Roufail, alumnus from Northeastern University with majors in business and engineering, respectively.
After learning about the DifferenceMaker Program, PointStick was ready to apply for the DifferenceMaker Idea Challenge. They pitched their idea to a panel of alumni judges in the preliminary round. The judges moved them onto the final round where PointStick was awarded second place in the “First to Market” award category. This came with a prize of $1,500 that the team could utilize to move their idea forward. In addition, they gained access to other DifferenceMaker resources including space, networking, mentors and additional funding opportunities. Watch a video of their pitch to the judges.
Since the Idea Challenge the team has focused primarily on beginning their careers. In fall 2013, Antoun, the team leader, accepted a residency position in Vallejo, California. Roufail accepted an engineering position in Michigan. Antoun insists that his team collaborates on the project from across the country to further its success. They are in the process of researching the intellectual property of the PointStick to ensure they do not infringe on any current issued patents.