The MetaFlex Therapy Glove is now available
It is the first product combining both compression and grip strengthening into a soft glove that is comfortable to wear day or night. Its compression fabric has been shown to increase circulation which can reduce pain, swelling, and stiffness.
If you have hand pain, swelling or stiffness caused by arthritis or other maladies, there’s a solution on the market that might be just what you need.
It’s named the MetaFlex Therapy Glove and was developed by a team of students during their time at Tennessee Tech University (TTU) in Cookeville. They won several student-focused competitions for the device then known as Hands On including first place and biggest social impact in TTU’s “Eagle Works Pitch Competition” in 2018 (see teknovation.biz article here) and third place in Launch Tennessee’s “Student Pitch Competition” during the 2019 edition of the “3686 Entrepreneurship Festival.”
Today, more than five years after developing the device, one of those students – Téa Phillips – continues to pursue the product as Chief Executive Officer of ATS Innovations Inc. in Knoxville. Her other co-inventors – Sergio Ramirez and Ashley Wheeler – have moved on.
In the past few years, Phillips (pictured here with the glove on her left hand) has also earned a “Global Sustainability Award” from the Global Council for the Promotion of International Trade (2021), was runner-up for a “Global Impact Award” made during the World Angel Business Investment Forum in Miami (2022), and the crowd favorite in The Biz Foundry’s “Start Here Pitch Competition,” also in 2022 (see teknovation.biz article here).
“I’m not a researcher, but I always liked to make things,” she says. Part of that interest in innovation and entrepreneurship comes naturally. Growing up in Shelbyville, TN, she watched her father invent a specialized mower that he sold to the Troy-Bilt Company.
It was during her undergraduate years as a Mechanical Engineering student that Phillips, Ramirez, and Wheeler came up with the idea for what is now known as the MetaFlex Therapy Glove. It is a pair of compression and grip-strengthening gloves that individuals wear to reduce the impact of arthritis, stiff joints, tendinitis, poor circulation, and more generalized pain in their hands.
“It’s a class one medical device that is registered with the Food and Drug Administration,” Phillips said. There is also a patent that was issued in 2019.
Her inspiration was her grandmother, although Phillips says that she died before the device was developed. Nevertheless, she knew that compression would have helped her grandmother with blood flow and circulation issues as well as strengthened her grip.
How does it work?
The MetaFlex Therapy Glove is the first product combining both compression and grip-strengthening into a soft glove that is comfortable to wear day or night. Its compression fabric has been shown to increase circulation which can reduce pain, swelling, and stiffness. The innovative resistance bands work to keep the hand open, so when a person reaches to grab something, the adjustable bands allow individuals to set the resistance to what works best for them. That also strengthens their grip over time.