Contemporary offices are full of people slouching in chairs all day. The back pain that is caused by this sedentary behavior is a significant drain on productivity, quality of life and healthcare costs. LUMOback is meant to prevent back pain - with a simple app.

A quiet epidemic is a leading cause of job-related disability, missed work days and visits to the doctor. While it affects people in their work and leisure time, back problems are a significant drain of productivity, quality of life and money. LUMOback combines wearable sensors and haptic feedback to alert users when they are slouching so that they can stand or sit up straight, therefore lowering the risk of bad posture and chronic back pain that forms from it. The potential for impact is huge - 80 percent of people experience back pain at some point in their lives, and the overall cost for such problems is over $50 billion per year.

A health app that reminds users to improve behavior

Health monitoring apps have focused on fitness or eating habits, symptoms diagnosis and other, user-genetic functions. LUMOback is self-sufficient once the sensor is attached, giving vibrations as needed when the wearer’s spine is in a problematic position. The product also includes an interface that the wearer can view in real time to track behavior. Because of this type of workflow, LUMOback does not have to be used proactively, it improves behavior without the user starting it up or checking in with it. This creates an ideal product to use anytime, especially in the workplace, to improve back health awareness or for employees actually suffering from pack pain. 

Preventative care that could save valuable enterprise resources

The sensor device itself is patch-shaped and only about two inches so would be unobtrusive to wear in office environments. This would be the target market, since much of the chronic back pain LUMOback aims to prevent is caused by a sedentary lifestyle. The sensor and smartphone app combination were designed by LUMOback’s three person team - a physician, an engineer and a serial entrepreneur. The startup is currently in private beta, but is taking early product testers. With wide deployment, back health monitoring could increase productivity and employee morale, while lowering healthcare costs for individuals, employers and the government.

By Ivory King