About the Biz
- Company Name: JP Healthcare Solutions
- Who we talked with: Cathy Foster, Principle, and Founder
- Year established: 2013
- How to find them: www.ezliftvest.com
- Socialize: Facebook
Get to know JP Healthcare Solutions
My sister and I are registered nurses and were caregivers for our Mother. Due to the challenges we faced with lifting and transferring her, we invented and patented a manual device called the EZ Lift Vest for mobility challenged patients who need assistance with standing, ambulation and those at risk for unintentional falls. The Vest was designed to be worn by a loved one or patient to assist the caregiver with lifting and transfers. Our goal is to decrease the risk of work-related injuries and compensation claims due to repetitive patient handling. Just a few of the benefits we love about our product innovation is, it appears as everyday attire. The EZ Lift Vest eliminates the “armpit lift,” “back of the pants lift” and the “bear hug lift.” The adjustable contour straps offer the patient a tapered, secure and comfortable fit and, the eleven (11) hand grip components provide a secure means of lifting, transferring and repositioning patients, as well as promoting good body mechanics and the best lifting positions from any angle. Lastly, the EZ Lift Vest is lightweight and easy to clean.
As a business owner, what resource organizations have helped you along the way, and how?
SCORE was our initial contact who assisted with our startup and because of their vast resource connections, they have been very helpful in our endeavors. During one of our discussions, they suggested we visit the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library and speak with Librarian, Mimi Curlee. Mimi was very friendly, patient, and helpful in teaching us how to research information for our company for which we are truly grateful!
Describe the process of taking vest from idea to prototype, to actual product. What were your biggest challenges, and how did you overcome them?
The sketch was taken to a custom dress designer who provided our prototype. From there, we contacted a patent attorney and proceeded to collaborate with a nursing home/rehabilitation facility to provide a feasibility study on the efficacy of the EZ Lift Vest. Our next step was to find a manufacturer. After researching approximately 50 clothing and medical clothing manufacturers within the U.S. we found the right one to produce our invention. Under his guidance and expertise, he improved the look and selected a more lightweight durable fabric, enhancing the overall product. Our biggest challenge was sizing. Although our sizes range from 2X small to 3X large, everyone’s body type and body frame are different. To overcome that challenge and to ensure the EZ Lift Vest would fit each body type and size sufficiently, we added adjustable contour straps; two on the inside of the vest and two on the back which helps to taper the vest and provides a snug, comfortable, and secure fit for each individual body type.
What is your advice for someone who’s trying to sell a patented product?
First of all, put in the necessary time to create a quality product. Do your homework in searching for a patent attorney. Look for one who is knowledgeable in your specific invention area. Secondly, be patient. Thirdly, never give up! It could be a long and tedious process and secure a patent could take approximately three years or longer depending on the invention.
What’s your favorite thing about being an entrepreneur?
Our favorite thing about being an entrepreneur is the opportunity to help our community of nurses, healthcare providers, caregivers, and family members in providing a safer means of lifting and transferring their patients and loved ones. The risk of unintentional falls and potentially life-threatening injuries are significant concerns in the healthcare industry as well as employee work-related injuries due to repetitive patient handling activities. Our greatest satisfaction is to enhance well-being and foster optimal nursing care.