Have you ever experienced back pain? If yes, you are not alone. Eighty-five percent of Americans will suffer from neck or back pain at some point in their lives. My guess is you are reading this post on your computer or mobile device… how is that posture? Poor posture is thought to be one of the main contributors to back pain, especially in the age of technology where many of us utilize mobile devices and computers for extended periods of time.
Upright Technologies, a New York-based company, is working hard to fight fire with fire, using technology to minimize one of its biggest drawbacks: poor posture. Upright Technologies will soon be launching their second product, UPRIGHT GO, which is a small wearable device that attaches to the upper back to monitor the user’s posture and gently vibrate whenever his/her posture is suboptimal. This supposedly helps to retrain the brain to recognize and resolve postural deficits. Oded Cohen, CEO and Founder of Upright Technologies, states, “There are hundreds of solutions for back pain and bad posture, but all of them deal with the symptoms and not the cause. It is so hard to change postural habits. With our new technology we are able to help make this change in a very short time”.
The company’s original flagship product, UPRIGHT PRO, targeted postural deficits in both the upper and lower back, whereas UPRIGHT GO only trains the upper back. UPRIGHT GO is smaller in size and is designed for everyday use. The interface for UPRIGHT GO is simple and user-friendly. Consumers can download a free app on their Android or IOS mobile device, which generates a personalized training program that begins with only several minutes of training per day. Training time is gradually increased to avoid any muscle strains, keep the overall experience positive, and maximize adherence.
UPRIGHT GO attaches to the skin of the upper back via double-sided silicon adhesive patches that can be used about 15-20 times before needing to be replaced. The device is small, discreet, water-resistant, and comfortable, allowing users to participate in everyday tasks such as sitting, standing, driving or walking without discomfort or limitation. UPRIGHT GO utilizes an accelerometer and an advanced algorithm to monitor posture and initiate training only when it is suitable to do so. The system is able to provide real-time posture feedback to help make immediate corrections.
Lumo Lift is the main competitor to UPRIGHT GO, but they differ in several ways. UPRIGHT GO attaches directly to the body near the spinal column while Lumo Lift clips to a user’s clothing. As a result, Lumo Lift may be more susceptible to movement elsewhere in the body and compensates for this by including a delay in response following detection of movement. UPRIGHT GO does not require as long of a delay in response due to its direct adherence to the skin, which could makes UPRIGHT GO more sensitive and a better training tool. CEO and Founder of Upright Technologies, Oded Cohen, states, “We at Upright Technologies believe that even a short delay can have a great impact on the learning curve.”
Pilot studies investigating the effects of Upright devices on posture are currently underway at several large health maintenance organizations in Israel and at physical therapy clinics, such as Kessler and Motion PT, here in the United States. Additionally, the following universities are initiating and/or conducting clinical studies on the efficacy of UpRight devices: Columbia University, Tel-Aviv University, Kupat Holim Meuhedet, Stanford University, and New Castle University.
UPRIGHT GO will retail for $99 with a special price of $69 now available during its Kickstarter campaign, which ends on May 10, 2017. UPRIGHT GO is currently in production and expected to ship to consumers as early as June 2017.