Greg Method, class of 2012, didn’t set out to invent a new physical therapy device. But when the mechanical engineering major landed an internship with a physical therapy clinic in his hometown of Park City, Utah, last summer, he started noticing ways in which better devices could lead to better therapy.
One day he saw that a shorter therapist was having trouble supporting her long-legged patients’ knees so they could do stretching exercises. Method went home and started building a device that would support the back of the leg. For the next six to eight weeks, Method tested about a dozen prototypes, changing them based on feedback from therapists and patients.
As Method improved the device, it went from being a substitute for a therapist’s arm to being a device that patients could use to work on rehab exercises at home.
Method also created a wedge used to elevate a patient’s leg when a therapist is working on a patient’s knee.
He has now started a company, Method Therapeutic Solutions LLC. In March, he submitted provisional patents for both devices.
“Hopefully, with some design changes, I’ll take this to market one day,” Method said. “Just to see that it was so helpful to the patients and that it was so effective was the best part of my experience. Now it’s just a matter of getting it out there and making it available to other patients.”
Philip Kesten, associate professor of physics, is advising Method.
“I’m very impressed with what he has done,” Kesten said. “He doesn’t brag—he’s just got this neat problem in front of him. It’s like a puzzle, and he wants to solve it.”
Method’s father, Vic Method, vice president of business development for Evolv, is his son’s main funder. He hopes the experience will serve his son well when he enters the workforce after college.
“I have seen my son grow as a person by watching how something he has done has helped people,” Vic Method said. “That’s really cool as a parent to see.”