Stevens Institute of Technology signed an exclusive licensing agreement with Bonbouton, giving the health and technology company the right to use and further develop a graphene sensing system that detects early signs of foot ulcers before they form so that people living with diabetes can access preventative health care and manage their health.
The smart insole, Bonbouton’s first product, can be inserted into a sneaker or dress shoe to passively monitor the foot health of a person living with diabetes. The data is then sent to a companion app that can be accessed by the patient and shared with their health care provider, who can determine if intervention or treatment is needed.
“I was inspired by two things — a desire to help those with diabetes and a desire to commercialize the technology,” said Bonbouton founder and Chief Executive Officer Linh Le, who developed and patented the core graphene technology while pursuing a doctorate in chemical engineering at Stevens.
Le came up with the idea to create an insole that could help prevent diabetic ulcers after several personal incidents lead him to pursue preventative health care.
“In the Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship, we are particularly proud of this license. Linh Le is a fine example of a graduate student building a great company based on technology that was developed in a Stevens’ lab. The Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship has supported the development of the IP behind Linh’s company from the initial patent filing through Stevens SVC-based startup support to the present day,” said David Zimmerman, director of technology commercialization at Stevens. “We are excited to see the future development of Bonbouton as it brings the technology forward to improve the lives of patients.”
Bonbouton, which is based in New York City, is currently partnering with global insurance company MetLife to determine how its smart insoles will be able to reduce health care costs for diabetic foot amputations. In 2018, Bonbouton also announced its technical development agreement with Gore, a company well known for revolutionizing the outerwear industry with GORE-TEX fabric, to explore ways to integrate Bonbouton’s graphene sensors in comfortable, wearable fabric for digital health applications, including disease management, athletic performance and everyday use.
“We are interested in developing smart clothing for preventative health, and embrace the possibilities of how our graphene technology can be used in other industries,” said Le. “I am excited to realize the full potential of Bonbouton, taking a technology that I developed as a graduate student at Stevens and growing it into a product that will bring seamless preventative care to patients and save billions of dollars in health care costs.”
Stevens is a shareholder of Bonbouton, legally known as FlexTraPower and co-owns two of the seven patents filed by the company.