IBM helps chronic foot pain sufferers

IBM and Dassault Systèmes today announced that HEEL that Pain Inc. a start-up company in the $200 million foot care market, used IBM and Dassault Systèmes Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) Solutions to bring a new innovative product to market at a competitive price.

HEEL that PAIN is a joint venture between GID Development Corp. and Dr. Art Smuckler, a certified podiatrist. After developing a few customized foot-pads for patients complaining of persistent heel pain, Smuckler wanted to share the benefits of these foot pads with the mass market.

"I knew this product could do wonders for the 2.5 million Americans who suffer from chronic foot pain, but I was naive about the complexity of bringing the product to market," said Smuckler. "Then I met with GID senior design engineer James Grimes and he assured me that with CATIA V5 we could take my idea from concept to the store shelves in only a few months."

Using CATIA V5, GID Development designed and manufactured the new heel seats, based on Smuckler's original design. Grimes designed the pads and performed human analysis simulations, testing a variety of materials. Once the optimal design was determined using the software, CATIA V5 was then used to design the tooling. Prototypes were then easily manufactured for clinical trials. After a successful series of trials, CATIA V5 was also used to design the blister package.

"This is the second product we have taken to market using CATIA V5," said James Grimes, senior design engineer, GID Development Corp. "IBM and Dassault Systèmes are the 'Swiss army knife' of technology providers for small manufacturing businesses that have big dreams, but not a big budget."

The HEEL that PAIN foot-pad product is expected to be available at drug stores across the Unites States by the end of the year.

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