Shapecrunch: The Customised insoles for flat feet
Shapecrunch was founded in 2015 by two boys Nitin Gandhi and Jatin Sharma for making customized insoles for flat feet. Nitin Gandhi (27) and Jatin Sharma (28) are childhood friends and graduated from Punjab Engineering College. Gandhi is an electronic engineer whereas Sharma is a mechanical engineer.
Shapecrunch Company provides 3D printed and customized insoles for people suffering from flat feet, plantar fasciitis, and diabetic foot. It aims to reinvent orthotics and prosthetics with its technology.
Generation of Idea
The idea of Shapecrunch was born three years ago when Nitin Gandhi had difficulty in getting a pair of comfortable and customized orthotics. Nitin suffers from flat feet and visited his Dr. who asked him to get a pair of custom orthotics. Nitin was caught by surprise when he visited the shop. All the machines were imported and undergo a manual process. Later, Nitin replaced the orthotics as it was uncomfortable.
His Dr. shared that the machines used are expensive and thus many people don’t invest in this business.
Before Shapecrunch, both Nitin and Jatin were working in 3D printing. And thus the idea of using 3D printing to make the custom and comfortable insoles hit them. Their idea actually worked.
It was launched 3 years back but got attention last year. During its first year, the app served 1200 patients, out of which 20% re-ordered the orthotics.
Nitin and Jatin were involved in the printing and assembling of 3D printers. Jatin designed the insoles. Later Jiten (26) joined the team. He is an Alumni of BITS Pilani and helped with computer vision and AI-based algorithms. Soon Arun (27) joined hands in the venture. A biomedical engineer who completed his post-graduation from the USA. He had worked with many reputed companies like Johnson and Johnson, Smith and Nephew, etc.
The biggest challenge awaiting for these four young minds was gaining knowledge of foot and developing an algorithm. To tackle this, they developed with multiple foot specialists. Beginning with basic trials with AIIMS.
About the Shapecrunch’s app
Shapecrunch is like any other app and easy to use. Firstly, the patient has to scan his/her foot via the app from 3 sides and fill in some basic details (shoe size, pain areas, etc,). The Shapecrunch’s computer uses a machine-learning algorithm to design the insole which is then printed by using a 3D printer. Soft cushioning is added to the insole. The algorithm scans 1000 points of feet and then converts it into a 3D model.
The insole is made of flexible 3D printed material ‘Poron’ and is designed for two variants- sports, dress, or, formal shoes. Lastly, the insole is shipped to the patient. They are very comfortable, provide cushioning to feet, and reduce pain-related problems. People suffering from severe pain problems can visit the Shapecrunch clinic center.
Many existing players use imported and expensive machines but Shapecrunch has digitized everything. Shapecrunch has tied up with many orthopedics, orthotics, health care professionals, etc. It also offers training to Doctors who can work in their labs for less than $200. They have partnered with more than 300 clinics.
The company has received funding from India as well as the USA. During its initial years, it also received a grant from BIRAC for funding its research with AIIMS.
Currently, the company is backed by 10 members. It is receiving orders from all over the world. The company is in expanding mode and is experimenting with different categories to suit everyone’s needs. They are hoping to become profitable this year.
Radical and out-of-the-box innovation in healthcare can happen when you bring doctors, engineers, and designers together. “Our strategy is very simple: to work with doctors to create life-changing products with our technology,” says Nitin.