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It took a village to bring this new, painless ulcer treatment to market

Almost 2 million Americans suffer from pressure ulcers also know as bed sores. And almost $1.3 billion is dedicated annually for that treatment. A new device capable of relieving chronic pain (with a lower price tag) is now a reality.

But it took a neighborhood of Ohio innovators in the state for the Valtronic Advanced Photobiotherapy Device to make it to the marketplace.

The Cleveland-based Manufacturing Advocacy & Growth Network (MAGNET) provided engineering expertise, patented the design and developed working prototypes; the University of Toledo's Department of Bioengineering developed the optical system; the UT College of Medicine conducted clinical trials. Valtronic Technologies USA , of Solon -- which specializes in medical industrial products -- handled commercialization, manufacture and distribution.

Greg Krizman, senior director of marketing for MAGNET, exudes pride while talking about the Valtronic Advanced Photobiotherapy Device.

He's also proud of MAGNET's role. "We're a one-stop shop for manufacturers who wish to grow their businesses," Krizman says. "Whatever people need to make their operations go faster, better and smarter, we have people to make that happen."

Krizman says one of the consequences of the recession is that companies have often been forced to lay off engineers. MAGNET serves companies with engineers on an "as-needed basis."

The partnership of organizations received some assistance from the Ohio Third Frontier initiative. About $1.3 million in assistance.

About 100 units have been sold to date. But those involved are optimistic about the product. Home care clinics and nursing homes are more likely to afford the portable device at $20,000 a unit compared with the predecessor's $70,000 price tag.

Source: Greg Krizman, MAGNET
Writer: Colin McEwen
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