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Abilitech™ Medical develops assistive technologies to meet the needs of patients with upper-limb mobility limitations in three important areas:

Abilitech's current and future assistive technology portfolio includes a shoulder and elbow device (Abilitech™ Assist), a powered handgrip device (Abilitech™ Grip) and a fully robotic, voice-controlled arm and hand device (Abilitech™ APEX).

  • Physical - Supporting many Activities of Daily Living that offer users with greater independence.

  • Social/Emotional - Increasing the ability to engage in family or community activities that foster social and emotional connections.

  • Economic - Decreasing caregiver burden and equipping users to potentially remain or return to the workforce and reside independently.

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History & Milestones

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Abilitech Medical, Inc. is a medical device company based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The company's vision is to build a suite of products that will revolutionize the way in which clinicians and patients view and treat neuromuscular conditions.

In 2016, Abilitech Medical, Inc. was founded by a group of deeply committed and knowledgeable individuals experienced with upper-limb impairments. Since inception, the team has worked to create and build solutions that restore function and independence to those affected by neuromuscular conditions.

 

The Abilitech™ Assist is the first in-home device on the market that will provide functional assistance and support to both the elbow and shoulder. This device has the potential to improve the lives of hundreds of thousands of patients living with Muscular Dystrophy and Multiple Sclerosis.

Awards

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Leadership

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The Abilitech Medical team is full of dedicated individuals with a passion for improving the lives of those living with neuromuscular conditions. We are proud to have strong leadership and an industry leading Board of Directors, as well as impactful clinical and research Partners & Scientific Advisors.

Angie Conley CEO founder president board of directors

ANGIE ZAVORAL CONLEY

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Founder, President, & CEO, Abilitech Medical

Angie Zavoral Conley has served as Abilitech’s President and Chief Executive Officer since founding the company in late 2016.  Under Angie’s leadership, Abilitech Medical has won numerous awards, including both the Tekne Award for innovation from Minnesota High Tech Association and the Grand Prize and Top Woman-led Business at the Minnesota Cup - the largest state-led business competition. Abilitech has also been recognized as a Top 10 Medical Device Startup by MedTech Outlook; a Top 20 Medical Device Startup You Need to Know by MassDevice magazine; and a Top Promising Life Science Company by Rice University. In her role as President and CEO of Abilitech, Angie has raised over ten million in equity funding and nearly two million dollars in non-dilutive funding.

 

Angie Conley’s broad work experience in the medical device industry directly translates to her role as CEO of Abilitech Medical. Prior to founding Abilitech, Angie held leadership roles in several different medical device companies, including working with exoskeletons at Magic Arms; peripheral and neurovascular atherectomy devices at ev3/Covidien; heart valves, instruments, telemonitoring equipment, external and implantable pacemakers and defibrillators at Medtronic. She is an alumna of the prestigious Springboard Enterprise and Texas Medical Center accelerator programs. Angie Conley is named as an inventor on two patents.

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GABE KALMAR

Chief Commercial Officer, Abilitech Medical 

Gabe Kalmar brings over 30 years of experience to the Abilitech Medical team. He is a Director at Rehabtronics, Bioform Technology, BarrelWise Technologies, Sonus Microsystems and Zenna Technologies, HeadCheck Health, Genome and TrafficDriven, amongst other high growth tech businesses. Additionally, he is an Entrepreneur-In-Residence at University of British Columbia (UBC). Gabe has deep knowledge of commercialization and operations management and will lead our team as we continue to market the Abilitech Assist, as well as our future suite of devices.

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ABEL GUEVARA

Director of Reimbursement, Abilitech Medical 

Abel Guevara is a Durable Medical Equipment Prosthetics Orthotics and Supplies (DMEPOS) subject matter expert with over two decades of progressive healthcare operations, compliance, and revenue cycle management experience.  As Director of Reimbursement and Patient Access for Abilitech Medical, Abel will work with patients, clinicians and payers to provide the necessary documentation and patient outcomes to support and navigate the reimbursement process. Prior to joining the Abilitech Medical team, Abel held leadership roles at both payers and device companies within the DMEPOS industry. He currently serves as the Vice Chairman of the Board of Certification/Accreditation (BOC), a CMS-deemed accreditation and DMEPOS certification company.  Abel is currently pursuing a Doctor of Health Administration degree from the Medical University of South Carolina and holds a Masters of Health Information Management from Texas State University. 

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RYAN BAUER

Senior Principal Mechanical Engineer, Abilitech Medical 

Ryan Bauer is a Mechanical Engineer with 20+ years of experience designing and developing Class 2 and 3 medical devices. He is a skilled engineer as well as project manager, having worked on numerous products from early-stage concepts through to market release. Ryan’s expertise and oversight lead our efforts on all design aspects of the Assist and our future suite of products. Before joining the Abilitech Medical team, Ryan held technical leadership roles at Medtronic and several other contract design firms where he led initiatives on devices for cardiac and neurological stimulation, structural heart, neurovascular and left ventricular assist. Ryan received his degree in Mechanical Engineering from Case Western Reserve University.

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SHAWNA PERSAUD, Ph.D.

Director of Clinical & Product Management, Abilitech Medical

Shawna Persaud has 15 years of pre-clinical research experience and has published in the fields of stem and cancer cell biology. Her research experiences sparked her passion for developing novel approaches to improve human health. Since joining Abilitech Medical, Shawna’s role has expanded to include creating and managing all current and future clinical trials, product management, and contributions to future products’ development while educating both clinicians and patients on the capabilities of the devices. She received her B.S. in Biochemistry and her Ph.D. in Pharmacology from the University of Minnesota.

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ELI KRUMHOLZ, Ph.D.

Director of Software Engineering & Electronics, Abilitech Medical

Eli Krumholz, Ph.D., brings a range of experience in technology-based startups to Abilitech Medical. As founder of two startups prior to joining Abilitech Medical, Eli created cloud-based web applications that used artificial intelligence, data collection, and rich user interfaces to dynamically guide users in video content creation. As part of his Ph.D. in Computational Systems Biology at the University of Minnesota, Eli used network analysis, machine learning, and computational modeling to study cellular metabolism and create predictive models for genetic engineering. With Abilitech Medical, Eli directs projects ranging from robotic motion control systems to wearable sensor technology and cloud applications incorporating state-of-the-art technology to create innovative, technologically advanced products. He has extensive experience in IoT applications, IMU-based motion capture, force sensing, voice control, gesture recognition and haptic feedback. 

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LEOTA PEARSON

Chief Financial Officer, Abilitech Medical

Leota Pearson, CPA, brings more than 30 years of experience working with medical device companies that span all stages of growth.  Leota has worked as a CFO in public and private medical device companies including Orthomet, Endocardial Solutions and Celleration.  She is a member of the Minnesota CPA Society having served on their board of directors and Financial Executive International where she served on the national board and as the president of its Twin Cities chapter.  She was named Consulting CFO of the year in 2017 by the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal.  Leota holds an undergraduate degree from The University of North Dakota and a MBA from the University of Minnesota.  

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AARON BERSTLER

Chief Marketing Officer, Abilitech Medical

Aaron Berstler is a 20+ year marketing and communications strategist specializing in B2B industries including life sciences, health care, SaaS, manufacturing and professional services. He received his B.A. in Communications from Bethel University.

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PATRICE KLOSS, J.D.

Outside General Counsel, Abilitech Medical

Partner, Fox Rothschild LLP

Patrice Kloss has worked as a partner for both Oppenheimer Wolff & Donnelly and Fox Rothschild LLP. She has more than 20 years of legal experience, specializing as a corporate transactional attorney with an emphasis on representing medical technology companies and other emerging businesses.  Patrice advises Abilitech Medical on corporate matters, including financings. She has a B.A. in International Relations from the University of Minnesota and a J.D. from William Mitchell College.

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RACHEL ANDERSON

Design Engineer, Abilitech Medical

Rachel earned a B.S/M.S. in mechanical engineering from the University of Minnesota and is passionate about human-centered design. She conducted research under Dr. Will Durfee in the Human/Machine Design Lab, where she gained experience writing and executing IRB protocol and designing wearable devices. For her Master’s thesis, she created a weight-optimized ankle-foot orthosis emulator as part of an ongoing effort with Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare to improve the prescription process for pediatric AFOs. Beyond her technical expertise in joint design, hydraulics, control systems, and optimization, Rachel brings a strong aptitude for leadership and has won multiple awards for her work founding the first women’s group for mechanical engineers at the University of Minnesota. She has additional experience in design for manufacturing and rapid prototyping from her work on Class II medical devices at Minnetronix Medical.

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DAN STOCKS, OT

Northwest Business Development Manager, Abilitech Medical

Dan Stocks is a seasoned clinical and medical sales professional with 20+ years of experience working within the therapeutic and rehabilitation device sector. Dan has experience across the business development cycle from his time at Bioness, Myomo, Tyromotion, and most recently, REAL System by Penumbra. Dan studied Occupational Therapy at Western Michigan University.

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TINA DONAHUE

Sales Consultant, Abilitech Medical

Tina Donahue has over 20 years in complex rehabilition and neuro-rehab as a sales consultant at the Chattanooga Group, BMR Neurotech, Rehabilicare, Bioness Inc. and most recently Myomo Inc. She has developed new educational programs, built effective processes for sales and marketing, and earned numerous awards for her sales performance and management. Tina studied Kinesiology at the University of Kentucky and enjoys being a part of the technology industry helping patients to improve the quality of their lives

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KIM SMITH

Clinical Sales Specialist, Abilitech Medical

Kim Smith brings extensive experience in sales and business development across the medical device industry, most recently at Myomo where she served as Business Development Manager. She has lead the full sales cycle, from new patient acquisition through to product delivery and has worked with a wide rage of clinical partners including OT/PTs, rehabilitation hospitals, VA hospitals and  prosthetist and orthotists. Kim studied Business Administration at Lindenwood University. 

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ROB WUDLICK

Engineering Consultant, Abilitech Medical

As an engineer who lives with a spinal cord injury, Rob brings a unique perspective to the Abilitech team. Rob supports Abilitech's engineering team and provides an important patient voice to inform product development. Outside Abilitech, Rob is active in spinal cord injury research, fundraising, and advocacy work. He is the co-founder of GUSU2Cure Paralysis Foundation and received his B.S. in industrial and management engineering from Montana State University - Bozeman. 

Board of Directors

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ANGIE CONLEY

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Founder, President, & CEO, Abilitech Medical

Angie Conley’s work experience in the medical device industry directly translates to her role as CEO of Abilitech Medical. Her experience includes leadership roles with exoskeletons at Magic Arms; peripheral and neurovascular atherectomy devices at ev3/Covidien; heart valves, instruments, telemonitoring equipment, external and implantable pacemakers and defibrillators at Medtronic. Under her leadership, Abilitech Medical has been named a Top 20 healthcare startup twice in 2019, was a Tekne Award Finalist in 2018, a 2018 & 2019 MN Cup semi-finalist, and is listed as an inventor on two PCT patents.

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JAMES EHLEN, M.D.

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

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James Ehlen, M.D., has more than 40 years of experience in the medical field.  He served as the CEO of RespirTech and as the Chief Medical Liaison for Respiratory Care at Philips Sleep and Respiratory Care in addition to serving as a director on several medical company and healthcare boards.  Dr. Ehlen’s experience also includes executive leadership positions with Humana, Founder and Co-CEO of Allina Health System, Chairman and CEO of Medica and Physicians Health Plan of Minnesota, and Chief Clinical Innovation Officer at Humana.   He received his M.D. degree from the University of Minnesota Medical School and has board certification from the American Board of Internal Medicine and Endocrinology.

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AARON FLETCHER, Ph.D.

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

CEO, Bios Partners

Aaron Fletcher, Ph.D. has more than 10 years experience in biotech/healthcare equity industry and manages a portfolio of eight startups: 410 Medical, Abilitech Medical, Actuate Therapeutics, Azitra, Cognition Therapeutics, Encore Vision, Lantern Pharma and Lung Therapeutics. Dr. Fletcher founded and serves as CEO of Bios Research, a financial services firm that provides public equity research in the healthcare space tailored to institutional firms and large family offices. Dr. Fletcher holds a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from Colorado State University, and serves as a professor at Dallas Baptist University where he teaches Biochemistry, Bioethics, and Cell Biology. 

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ELONA BAUM

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Managing Director, DEFTA Partners

As a venture capitalist, independent board director, and a former executive in biotech and regenerative medicine, Elona Baum’s experience within healthcare technologies provides unparalleled insight to the Abilitech Medical board. Elona has more than 20 years experience in the drug development sector at both Genentech and California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM), as well as having held leadership roles in business development, legal, and regulatory. Elona currently serves as the Managing Director of DEFTA Partners, focusing on early-stage investment in innovative therapeutic and digital health technologies. Elona has a B.A. in Economics from the University of California, Los Angeles, and a law degree from the University of San Francisco School of Law.

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Partners

Our partners are an important part of our product design, delivering critical insights that result in innovative, cutting-edge and meaningful clinical devices. These relationships have been funded by grants from the National Institutes of Health and the State of Minnesota to drive meaningful solutions for people who live with neuromuscular weakness.

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Scientific Advisors

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MARK GORMLEY, M.D.

SECTION CHIEF FOR PEDIATRIC PHYSICAL MEDICINE AND REHABILITATION, GILLETTE CHILDREN'S SPECIALTY HEALTHCARE

Dr. Gormley’s clinical expertise focuses on treating children and adolescents who have cerebral palsy, brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, and other conditions. He received a B.S. degree in Biology from the University of Notre Dame, M.D. degree from the University of Louisville School of Medicine in Kentucky, performed a residency in physical medicine and rehabilitation at Tufts-affiliated hospitals in Boston, Mass., and a fellowship in pediatric rehabilitation at the University of Michigan Medical Center, Ann Arbor, Michigan. As the section chief for pediatric physical medicine and rehabilitation at Gillette Children's Specialty Healthcare, he helps patients achieve their highest level of independence and quality of life. As an active researcher, clinician, and presenter (over 190 combined presentations/publications) he follows more than 2,000 cerebral palsy patients in the United States, and has 29 years of clinical experience treating children with neuromuscular disorders that gives him a unique perspective to provide guidance on medical device design.

 

“I believe in the transformative potential of assistive devices that facilitate functional gains and therapeutic benefits."

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WILLIAM DURFEE, Ph.D.

MORSE ALUMNI DISTINGUISHED TEACHING PROFESSOR, DIRECTOR OF THE HUMAN/MACHINE DESIGN LAB IN THE DEPARTMENT OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERING, UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA

William Durfee is Professor and Director of Design Education in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Minnesota. He received a A.B. degree in Engineering and Applied Physics from Harvard University and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Mechanical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. With 180 publications, his professional research interests include medical device design, rehabilitation engineering, advanced orthotics, biomechanics, and physiology of human muscle including electrical stimulation of muscle, product design, and design education.

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MARNY FARRELL, MDT

DIRECTOR OF OUTPATIENT REHABILITATION SERVICES,
REGIONS HOSPITAL

Marny is a Minnesota licensed Physical Therapist and the Director of Rehabilitation at Regions Hospital. She has a Master’s degree in Physical Therapy from the Saint Louis University. During her Master’s degree program, she performed a year-long independent study course on the newly emerging field of neuroplasticity.

 

For the last 18 years, she has been a pivotal leader of staff, organizations, and programs in the neuroscience and rehabilitation fields. She began her career in Boulder, Colorado with a company called ‘Medically-Based Fitness’ focused on improving the function and performance of medically complex patient populations, with a personal interest in Parkinson’s disease. Marny has been employed as a rehabilitation leader at HealthPartners since 2008. As the Director of Rehabilitation, Marny has played a key role in developing the partnership between Neuroscience Research, Rehabilitation, and Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation physicians. She has been a collaborator on research studies examining the impact of exercise on Parkinson’s disease, quality of life, and pain management. Marny is also currently the Chair of the Rehabilitation Advisory Committee and is a member of the Regions Hospital Patient Care Committee and Combined Critical Care Committee.

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PAULA LUDEWIG, Ph.D., PT, FAPTA

DIVISION DIRECTOR, PHYSICAL THERAPY, DEPARTMENT OF REHABILITATION MEDICINE, UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA MEDICAL SCHOOL

Dr. Ludewig has an M.A. in Physical Therapy and a Ph.D. in Exercise Science from the University of Iowa. She has been a professor at the University of Minnesota for more than 20 years, becoming the Director of the Division of Physical Therapy at the University of Minnesota Medical School in 2019.

 

Dr. Ludewig belongs to several professional organizations and associations, including the American Physical Therapy Association, American Society of Biomechanics and International Society of Biomechanics (International Shoulder Group). She has conducted extensive research, particularly regarding shoulder dysfunction within musculoskeletal injury and rehabilitation. 

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CARRIE SHOGREN, OT

OCCUPATIONAL THERAPIST, COURAGE KENNY REHABILITATION INSTITUTE ALLINA HEALTH

Carrie received her B.S. in Occupational Therapy from St. Catherine University in St. Paul, Minnesota. She has experience in sub-acute rehab, inpatient, and outpatient therapy. She currently works in the ABLE intensive exercise program for people with paralysis. She has expertise in spinal cord injury, neuromuscular recovery, and shoulder pain management.

"Abilitech will change lives by increasing a person's ability to complete daily tasks with more independence."

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KEVIN L. HINES, CPO

CLINICAL MANAGER AT ARISE ORTHOTICS & PROSTHETICS

Kevin is a partner with Arise Orthotics & Prosthetics in Spring Lake Park, MN and serves as Clinical Manager. As a veteran in the field for over 30 years, Kevin sees both prosthetic and orthotic patients of all ages and diagnoses.

Kevin graduated from Concordia College. In his free time Kevin serves as President of the Minnesota Society of Orthotists, Prosthetists, and Pedorthists, a non-profit organization created to protect the public health and promote the welfare of residents of the State of Minnesota, and several boards for the American Orthotic and Prosthetic Association (AOPA). Kevin volunteered in Haiti after the earthquake in early 2010 working with orthotic and prosthetic patients through the non-profit organization Helping Hands for Haiti.