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Defeat Freezing Gait, One Step At a Time With Sidney Collin of De Oro Devices, Creators of NexStride.

CMBB S1 18 | Freezing Gait

Parkinson’s disease affects over one million people in the United States and ten million globally. Every year, 60,000 people are diagnosed for the first time. Parkinson’s disease has a progressive nature, which means that it worsens over time. One of the most debilitating symptoms of Parkinson’s disease is freezing gait. Freezing gait occurs when the brain stops sending the proper signals to the limbs, causing their gait to freeze. When this occurs, they frequently fall, resulting in trauma and injuries.

A radical treatment for freezing gait was born when a single person approached Cal Poly students and asked them to design a specific device. To tell this story, we’re joined by the company’s founder, Sidney Collin of De Oro Devices, creators of NexStride.

The mission of De Oro Devices is to improve mobility, independence, and quality of life. NexStride is a small, portable device that uses research-backed visual and auditory cues to assist people with Parkinson’s disease in overcoming freezing of gait.

About Guest: Sidney Collin has a background in computational neuroscience research, with a paper published in the Journal of Clinical Neurophysiology.

Sidney received the Cal Poly Outstanding Woman in Engineering Award, the Outstanding Student Award, and the Lisa Hufford Scholarship Award in 2019. She has also been named to the Wire’s 30 under 30 list as one of the most influential women at Cal Poly, as well as the Pacific Coast Business Times’ 40 under 40 list as a business leader.

Sidney graduated from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, with a B.S. in Biomedical Engineering.

Show Notes:

00:00 Introduction

2:41 The story of De Oro Devices

4:12 The effects of freezing of gait

6:19 What is NexStride? How does it work? And how is it different from other Parkinson’s treatments?

9:58 Other types of treatments for Parkinson’s that can be used in combination with NexStride

12:26 How does NexStride compare to the standard treatment and other uses

17:38 What’s the cost of NexStride? Is it covered by insurance?

24:00 What’s Next for De Oro Devices

31:11 The power of leading a company with the goal of creating social impact

36:29 Conclusion

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Defeat Freezing Gait, One Step At a Time With Sidney Collin of De Oro Devices, Creators of NexStride.

Before I introduce our guest, I’d like to ask you for a favor. If you haven’t already, visit our page on your favorite podcast platform and rate, review and subscribe. Heck, download an episode or two. You can always delete them a moment later. All of these actions help us climb the charts so we can reach more people and spread more good. While you’re at it, visit our website, CareMoreBeBetter.com. You can sign up for our newsletter to be the first to gain access to new episodes and exclusive content. You can support the show and keep it ad-free by becoming a Patreon just by clicking the donate button.

In this episode, we’re going to explore another rare disease as I invite you to care more about people with Parkinson’s disease. Parkinson’s disease affects over 1 million people in the United States and 10 million around the globe. Each year, 60,000 Americans are newly diagnosed. For those unfamiliar with the disease, you might simply picture Michael J. Fox, the best-known celebrity with Parkinson’s. The progressive nature of Parkinson’s means that as time goes on, the condition worsens. One of the most debilitating issues that face people with Parkinson’s is freezing of gait.

Freezing of gait occurs when someone simply stops firing on all cylinders mid-stride. The brain stops sending the proper signals to their limbs and their gait just freezes. When this happens, they often fall, leading to trauma and injuries. When people with Parkinson’s start to experience freezing of gait, their circle gets smaller and smaller as they lack faith in their body’s ability to move the way they want.

A radical treatment was created precisely to solve this problem when a single patient approached students at Cal Poly and asked them to create a specific technological device for him. To tell this story, I am joined by the Founder of that very company, Sidney Collin of De Oro Devices and Creators of NexStride. Sidney, welcome to the show.

Thank you so much for having me. I’m happy to be here.

If you would, Sidney, please start by telling us the story of how your company came to be of this one individual who was the spark to the rise of your company.

It all started when I was studying Biomedical Engineering at Cal Poly. After my second year at Cal Poly, Jack came to Cal Poly and asked for help creating this device. He lived with Parkinson’s disease. The worst symptom that he experienced was freezing of gait. One of the most debilitating symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. What happens in the brain is there’s this disconnect between the brain and the body. When your brain is sending that signal to initiate movement, that signal doesn’t get to the motor neurons that are activating your muscles.

Jack came to us with this idea saying, “Look, I use these visual and auditory cues with my physical therapist in their office. It works really well for me but I don’t have any solution to bring that home, to be able to go to the bathroom by myself, walk across my living room floor or even walk around the block to get coffee with my wife.” He came to us saying, “I know what works. I just need help making it.” That’s how it all started honestly. I met Jack. I understood the problem. I looked into the research and I built this one device for him to help him live his life every day, to help him get up and move around a little bit more and make it easier to live with Parkinson’s disease.

NexStride aims to give people the ability to get up and walk and have that confidence to be independent and keep living their lives.

I find myself reflecting on a moment in my past. I worked right next door to a hospital in Watsonville and I used to go there for their incredible salad bar for lunchtime some days if I forgot my lunch or I didn’t have a lunch date. There was this one particular day I remember I was walking behind a young man, probably in his mid-30s. He was obviously having a little bit of a difficult time walking. It’s almost like the beat of his walk was very stilted. Suddenly, he’s mid gait froze, fell down and hit his head on the pavement.

This was one of my first experiences with Parkinson’s and a personal perspective. I was the only person within a few feet from him so I ran to his aid, saw that he got a gash on his forehead. He was bleeding a lot. I don’t know if he had a head injury. I ran inside to get somebody. The nurse came out with me and she knew him like he was a frequent patient of the hospital.

She muttered something under her breath about Parkinson’s. I know HIPAA Laws are not supposed to prevent you from making comments but she muttered something and I was pretty sure I heard that. When we first connected and you told me about the freezing of gait, it brought me right back to that moment. I’m like, “That’s what I witnessed. How terrifying would that be?”

It’s really crazy to watch. I can’t imagine what it’s like to experience what freezing of gait is. Jack has tried to explain it to me many times and I can see how frustrating it is for him. It comes on suddenly. It’s very scary. It’s something that stopped him from living his life the way that he wanted to. It stopped him from being independent, getting out and doing things by himself, even just moving from one room to another. If he forgot something that he needed in another room of the house, instead of being able to get up and get it himself, he would have to wait for his wife to get it for him. That was frustrating for him.

I’d love to hear more about this creation that was Jack’s idea. What does it do? How does it work? How does it help somebody? Initially, I thought, “It’s got to be a drug.” Everything in our pharmaceutically driven world is a drug solution. “We’ll just give you a pill and it’ll solve this thing.” I’d love for you to talk about this device and how it works and how it’s different than a medical intervention.

I explained a little bit earlier what’s happening in the brain when freezing gait happens. When you are initiating movement, that signal doesn’t get to the motor neurons that are activating your muscles. That’s happening because there’s a very specific neural pathway in the brain that’s getting damaged or disconnected. That’s making it so that when you send that signal, it doesn’t get to the motor neurons that are activating your muscles.

However, when you use or cue a goal-oriented movement like a line on the ground saying, “I’m going to walk to that line,” that’s a goal-oriented movement. That changes the way that your brain activates the movement and it changes the neural pathway that’s being activated in order to initiate that movement, which allows you to then overcome freezing of gait.

The visual cue that we use is a green laser line that’s projected onto the floor in front of you. You visualize yourself stepping over that line and that change of intention changes the way that your brain thinks about the movement. It changes the way that your brain activates the movement and allows you to overcome the freezing of gait.

CMBB S1 18 | Freezing Gait
Freezing Gait: There is a disconnect between the brain and the body. When your brain is sending that signal to initiate movement, it doesn’t get to the motor neurons that are activating your muscles.

The auditory cue that we use is a metronome. You’re trying to step to the beat of the metronome. By adding that goal, we’re changing the way that your brain activates the movement and allowing somebody to restore mobility. What’s interesting about this is that we are not the ones who have invented these cues. These cues have been used in physical therapy offices for years. There’s so much research showing that they were effective in reducing falls by 40%, reducing the duration of freezing of gait episodes by 69% and reducing the frequency of freezing of gait episodes from coming on by 43%. It’s really substantial numbers.

They’ve been using physical therapy offices for years but there wasn’t an effective way to bring it home and use it when you’re at home by yourself. We have a customer that lives a block away from the beach. She hasn’t gone to the beach in years, even though she lives a block away because she didn’t trust herself to get there without falling. It was so frustrating to her how many freezing episodes she would have that she just gave up trying. Since having the NexStride, she’s been going to the beach almost every day and she loves it. This is why we’re doing it, to give people the ability to get up, walk and have that confidence to be independent and keep living their lives, even with a progressive disease like Parkinson’s.

Not everybody that has Parkinson’s disease has freezing of gait at the time they’re diagnosed. It’s something that progresses. Does each person experience it with the time that has this disease?

About 80% of people with Parkinson’s will eventually experience freezing of gait. Usually, it happens about five years after they’re diagnosed. They’ll start to experience freezing. It comes on in more of the later stages. It’s not going to be the first symptom that you experience. In earlier stages of Parkinson’s, it’s about 40%. In later stages, it’s 80%. Overall, if we look at everybody with Parkinson’s now about 60% of those people are experiencing freezing of gait. It’s a common symptom.

I’ve been thinking about what other treatments may exist for people with Parkinson’s. Let’s say you have a patient come to you that are on the path to having this freezing of gait issue. They may have had symptoms that led them to believe it was just around the corner. What types of interventions can be used in combination with this? Is there any reason they wouldn’t be able to use this type of device with other interventions?

There are definitely no interactions with this device with any other interventions with Parkinson’s. There’s one standard medication that everybody goes on, which is dopamine medication. What’s happening in the brain when you have Parkinson’s is that there’s a lack of dopamine in the brain. We give people pharmaceuticals to enhance the amount of dopamine that’s in their brain to be able to deal with those symptoms.

There’s no medication now that’s available that is effective in helping with freezing of gait in a statistically significant way. Some people, when they’re on medication, will see a decrease in freezing of gait but some people will see an increase. It’s not consistent among everybody with Parkinson’s. There is no pharmaceutical solution to freezing gait at all.

There have started to be some research studies with low frequency, deep brain stimulation. Deep brain stimulation is another treatment that’s common for people with Parkinson’s, where they do brain surgery. They’ll insert an electrode into your brain and they’re stimulating in different areas of the brain, sending signals through the electrode into your brain, which can be effective for some people. It’s not for everybody.

DBS, Deep Brain Stimulation wasn’t something that was used for freezing of gait in the past. They’ve started to release preliminary studies, showing that a lower frequency of deep brain stimulation might be helpful. On the market, the only thing that really helps are drugs and surgery. These cues are non-invasive and you don’t have to have surgery. You just attach it to your cane, whatever cane, walker or walking pole you’re already using. It’s easy to integrate into your life and it’s super non-invasive. It’s easy to start going with it. It works well. That’s a great solution now until we can really figure out how to stop freezing of gait from coming on in the first place.

I know Michael J. Fox had approached Congress about the issues that he’s seeing and is really trying to further research around Parkinson’s and to get more interventions approved to be covered by medical insurance much like the device that you’re offering. He had gone without taking his medication for the day, just to show how unmedicated is so much more obvious to the lay public. He was criticized for that by some people saying, “He was exaggerating,” or something along those lines, including Rush Limbaugh who passed. He was one of those advocates who spoke against this and he apparently used it on his pulpit to say, “Michael J. Fox is being exaggerative.”

That’s coming because people got used to seeing him on TV still acting and doing work as with his role on The Good Wife and then going to Congress and they see how much worse he seems not being medicated. I wonder, if you were to position this alongside medication, how much more effective is it? Is it in a completely different league from the drug medication that the consumers are taking or, in this case, the persons with Parkinson’s are taking?

Everybody’s going to experience Parkinson’s differently. It’s a very unique disease in that way.

Our product is focusing on a different symptom. The medication that somebody is taking, that’s not used to help with the freezing of gait. It’s used to help with other symptoms of Parkinson’s. Our device is specific to freezing gait.

That’s a real, simple, hard line in the sand. If you were to say the medications prevent people from being as shaky or having a smoother experience in how they can move?

Those are some of the focuses. There are more symptoms that those address. I’m not a doctor so I can’t go too much into that but I know that it’s not specifically for freezing of gait. There’s on-related and off-related freezing of gait, which means when they’re on is when their medication is fully into their body. They’re on their on period.

When they’re on their off period is when their medication is wearing off or they’re not on their medication. That’s what people call an off period. There is freezing that occurs more when somebody is on medication and there’s freezing that occurs more when somebody is off medication and that depends on the person. Everybody is going to experience Parkinson’s so differently. It’s a unique disease in that way.

Is there another type of application for the product that you’ve produced? Ultimately, can it be used for something else or for other mobility issues that you’re seeing?

We’re starting to look at who else can be helped using this device. Most of the research is in Parkinson’s but there’s preliminary research in stroke rehabilitation, multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, a lot of other movement-based disorders.

I’m curious to see if there is anything else from that metronomic approach too. When I think about the metronome I’m automatically brought back to the days of studying the piano, learning to move with music and things along those lines. Are there ways in which this device is even being integrated so that a person can move without a walker or a cane? Is there a way that you’re looking at improving it so the experience can be more inclusive in other ways?

Absolutely. The next thing we want to get on the market is something that can attach to the body in some way. Not everybody who experiences freezing of gait uses a cane, a walker or a walking pole. Being able to help people that don’t use canes and walkers, we don’t want to force them into using a mobility assistive device before they need to. Having it on the body would be helpful.

It’s interesting that you bring up the music. Another thing that a lot of people will use to help with freezing is marching music something that has a good beat and can keep you going in the stride in a very synchronized and repetitive way, where it’s staying on rhythm. What happens right before you freeze, as you start to shuffle, you have lots of small, fast steps. Using the metronome can help prevent freezing of gait from coming on because you’re trying to keep your stepping in rhythm with the metronome, which will help you take steady long strides and stop that shuffling from coming on.

I was thinking about that experience I had in front of Watsonville Hospital, watching somebody who was without a cane having obviously an issue walking. I personally didn’t notice shuffling and then fall but I also think about the fact that my very own father-in-law doesn’t necessarily love to walk with a cane. It’s a reality that he has to work with.

Pride sometimes gets in the way of people trying to use these other physical aids or physical devices, especially in the earlier stages of disease progression. As far as other tools that might be available to somebody who has Parkinson’s, you and I had spoken offline about the cost of the device and, whether these interventions are covered by medical insurance. Can you talk about that?

We are going through the process of getting covered by insurance but we’re not covered by insurance. We do have a partnership with the Parkinson’s Foundation called the Parkinson’s Wellness Fund, where they’ll cover 50-75% of the costs for anybody who needs financial assistance. As we got this product out to market something that was important to us, we wanted to get it out as fast as possible, which is why we didn’t wait for insurance coverage. I know there are people that need this in 2020 and so getting it out to those people as fast as possible was our number one priority.

We also wanted to make sure that anybody, regardless of their financial situation, can have access to this device. We reached out to the Parkinson’s Wellness Fund and they will cover 50%-75% sometimes even 100% of the costs for anybody who needs financial assistance to make sure that anybody who has freezing of gait, who wants a solution to help them walk should be able to get access to this device regardless of their financial situation.

I love that they’re doing that. The reality is you aren’t talking about something that’s horrendously expensive either. The retail price for it is just under $500. Is that correct?

That’s correct.

For less than a smartphone, you can have your gait unfrozen as a patient with Parkinson’s, which is something to absolutely commend. You built this company because a single person came to you and said, “Help.” How many people like Jack have you been able to help so far, understanding your company is relatively young?

It’s been about 500 people so far. Being able to get the device out into their hands, being able to use that with their physical therapist, has felt good. Jack would be proud of us. He’s the one that pushed us to get it out to more people.

I love the fact it’s so unselfish. He comes to you. He says, “I want a solution but this needs to be out there for everyone.”

CMBB S1 18 | Freezing Gait
Freezing Gait: There is freezing that actually occurs more when somebody is on medication and there’s freezing that occurs more when somebody is off medication. It just depends on the person.

He already had a device that was working for him. He’s the one that pushed us to come to a support group where he introduced this new technology. It wasn’t because he thought that it was something that would be cool for people to hear about. It was because he knew that if he introduced me to twenty other people that needed this device, I would feel the responsibility of getting it out to people. He knew that was something that I would have to do after he introduced me to twenty people who come up to me and say, “My name is so-and-so. Thanks for the presentation. I also experienced freezing of gait. When do I get my prototype?”

You felt a personal responsibility to help all of these people and create this company ultimately.

That was important to him. He already had a solution for him. He was already up, walking and enjoying it but he wanted to make sure that other people in the community, other people around him, also got that opportunity. He was really the one that pushed us to start the company.

You and I had also chatted about the fact that you’re laying a green laser and there is another solution out there that lays a red laser and how that is psychologically different for the patients. Talk for a minute about that. It’s so interesting.

It is interesting. I’m a huge data person so I tend to always go back to the data. There are studies that show there’s a significant difference between the red and the green laser. We’re taught from a very young age that red means stop and green means go with the traffic lights. I used to play the red light, green light game as a kid where you’d run when it was green and stop when it’s red. Stop signs and emergency signs are always red. It’s because of that intuitive learning that we’ve experienced over our entire lives, now when you see the color of red, your intuition is to stop. When you see a green light, your intuition is to go.

It’s funny that something so simple as the changing of the color of the laser line can have an effect,] but there are studies that show that the green line is more effective than the red line. The green laser light is also four times more expensive to source because it’s a different frequency and it’s newer than the red laser. Red laser has been around longer but we realized that was important to Jack and to other people to have the green laser line rather than the red. It’s funny how the brain works.

If you think about it, what is red? Usually, everything red is to stop, to get your attention and induce hunger. Green is more calm, peaceful. The human eye can discern more colors of green than any other color in the spectrum if they’re not colorblind. Ultimately, it’s one of the colors that we associate with nature, with breathing deep and being outdoors. Whereas when you think about red, the things that come to mind are the stop line. Any number of things that are red sends an alarm. It’s an alarm color. I love that you’ve gone with the higher ticket item in this case but one that’s going to work better.

Our main goal now is to get something that works as much as possible for people who need it and then we can redesign, make it prettier, smaller and all that good stuff.

When I look at the whole picture, there are going to be drug solutions that continue to improve but those trials take a long time. They’re not something you can integrate now to solve a solution. You have the drug that’s out in the marketplace that’s being used by people who have Parkinson’s, the periods when they’re on versus when they’re coming off it and how their body reacts can vary. Ultimately, you’re providing a technological solution. It can be used right away and it can improve their lives almost overnight. Are there other technological devices in the works or new things that you can talk about?

A belt detach unit that’s going to be the next product that comes out from us because we already have people asking for it. We have the next ride out in 40 clinics across the US. We have our physical therapist asking. I have a patient that freezes but doesn’t use a cane or a walker, “When can I get the belt-attached unit?” That’s the next thing that we’re working on.

Our goal as a company is to be the mobility solution for anybody with a movement disorder, being able to get people up and walking and be more active. We’ve started to understand as a community how important exercise is and how important getting outside and moving your body is. It’s the only thing that has been shown to slow the progression of Parkinson’s disease. Getting people up and walking is so important and is ultimately our goal. The more we can do that, the more we can do to help everybody who suffers from a movement disorder keep walking, moving and retaining that independence and confidence to get up and walk.

This may not have been the path you planned for yourself when you were first going to Cal Poly to get your degree. I loved for you to talk for a moment about what your perspective is looking back now and knowing what you know if you might do things a little differently as you were finishing college and moving into this project.

It’s interesting. This is not at all what I thought I would be doing. I am very much a research-brained engineer type of person. I never would have thought I’d be running a business. It’s just not how my brain works but I’ve used my analytical brain to the company’s advantage. Looking at everything very analytically tends to help in business.

I find myself thinking about what led people to the point that they’re at. You had somebody very specific come to you and say, “I need you to do this for me and here’s why. Let me convince you and by the way, I’m going to give you a smattering of guilt if you don’t. You’re going to meet twenty people who could benefit from this. If you don’t do it then you’re not helping these people.”

“You’re letting them down.” That’s a big motivator for me, honestly, feeling like I’m going to let somebody down if I don’t do it. I don’t think that should be the reason you start a company. It wasn’t. To me, it was seeing the potential impact that this could have. I’ve always been a very impact-driven person. Realizing that there is so much research and technology that we have that’s not being used to help people live better lives, which is so ridiculous to me. Why would we have all this technology that helps people play cool video games better and not use that same technology to help people live their lives better? It’s so strange to me. That’s exactly why I got into biomedical engineering.

If we want to really create something that’s going to make a good impact, then we’re going to create a good business.

What did you want to be when you were a kid?

When I was younger, I danced with the San Francisco Ballet for many years. I thought that I was going to be a professional dancer for a while. When I came to the decision, I was at the level in the San Francisco Ballet where I’d either have to be homeschooled and dance for four hours a day or drop out, do something else and pick another career. I decided that I loved dancing but it wasn’t what I wanted to do. It didn’t have the impact that I wanted. I didn’t think it used my skills the best that they could be used. I’ve always been a Math and Science person and so I wanted to get into something more technical.

At that point, it was an engineer of some sort, building, creating something. I thought that creating something meant being the person in the lab building it or being the researcher. I have a background in Computational Neuroscience. I worked at a start-up company in Paris looking at EEG neurofeedback for kids with ADHD so I was more on the technical research side of the brain signals. At some point, I thought that was going to be where the impact that I had on the world was, being on the forefront of brain research, creating these new ideas of how we can help people and using what we know about the brain.

Being in the research fields, what I realized was that there is so much research that gets published that technology never gets out to the end-user because there’s nobody to take that research, develop a product and then bring it to market. There’s so much knowledge on the research side that never gets translated to the consumer. That’s when I realized that the most impact I could have was taking that research, creating a product and getting it out to the market to the people that need it every day.

From prima ballerina to a researcher to CEO of a device company that’s going to help solve problems for people, harnessing the power of technology for good is an incredible story. I think about what I wanted to be as a young child. You’re told, “Do you want to be a policeman? Do you want to be this? Do you want to be that?” When I was asked from an early age, I knew I loved animals so I wanted to be a veterinarian. That’s what all the kids said that loved animals. Later it became, “I want to be a Marine biologist.” It then became, “I really don’t like math. Maybe I don’t want to be a marine biologist. How about anthropology?”

We all go through a transition as we realize who we want to be and what inspires us. The fact that you’re so focused on this particular piece where you can have a social impact on a genetic disease or a progressive disease that only affects ten million people around the globe. I know that’s a large number but it’s small by reference to the population.

I could see why some of that research might just sit there in the coffers and not get worked with because it’s not the same money coming into that realm. You’re not saying, “This is going to be the next billion-dollar company on day one.” It’s a smaller set of the population that you’re serving. Just as vital, important and life-changing for those that you’re able to affect though. That’s just incredible. Is there anything else that you would like to share with our audience? Perhaps there’s a question that I haven’t asked that you wish I had? I’d love to offer you the floor.

There was something that you said that stood out to me that I wanted to comment on. You said something about how every time you switched what your career path was, what was important to you never changed. That’s something interesting. We look at, “What do you want to be when you grow up? What is it that you want to do? What is the job title?”

To me, I’ve had the same goal, the same mission as a person the entire time and it was to create that impact. That’s a common goal of a lot of people, whether I’m an engineer in the development of a product or on the research side or running a company that’s getting a product out. To me, all of those have the same goal. They’re all to help people live their lives better with technology.

What’s interesting when people think about, “What is it that I want to do?” what drives people is the impact that they want to have on the world. That’s what needs to be the focus. Even as you go into starting a business fundraising where you start to talk to VCs and the only thing they want to know is, “How am I going to make money?” Finding partners that agree with that impact vision, if we make a product that’s going to change people’s lives then we’re going to make money.

Let’s focus on what’s driving us because I’m not the person that’s driven by money. Fortunately, my investors know that. When I talked to my investors, I talked to them about, “This is the impact that we’re going to have. I can do the calculation of how much that means in revenue but these are the people’s lives that we’re going to change. That’s what’s important to me and everybody in the company.”

It’s more than a triple bottom line perspective. It’s an impact perspective that’s beyond the people planet and the ultimate profit that you’ll see. It’s the number of people whose lives you can change for the better.

This is what I love so much about your show. I honestly believe that if we create things that are going to impact the world in a good way, whether that’s the planet, the people or the animals then we’re going to create a good business. That’s going to have a solid revenue stream because we’re doing something that matters. There is a need and we’re offering the solution.”

I’m not planning to monetize this but who knows? One day maybe it’ll cover its costs. It’s interesting if I look back on my own career path and my own life in business, where I have consistently wanted to work for companies that were doing good in some way. That’s why I gravitated towards the health and nutrition industry, the natural products industry because even as I was selling something, I was selling something that could improve the lives of people that I was reaching. I could have faith in it beyond just selling a tripod for a camera or something. To me, that was impersonal and did not have a positive effect.

I’d take another stage and say, “We’re doing this business and we’re bettering the lives of the people that we’re able to reach but what can we do from an impact perspective? Let’s create a program or a campaign that benefits inner-city children and allows them to have more open spaces to play in.” Things along those lines, always getting driven by that impact. What can we do to make the world a better place?

CMBB S1 18 | Freezing Gait
Freezing Gait: NexStride’s goal is to be the mobility solution for movement disorders, for anybody with movement disorder, and to help get people up and walking and be more active.

If every business were to take that lens into what they were creating, not only would their employee forces be more inspired to show up every day because they know that they’re doing good in some way. They know they’re having an impact beyond filing papers. We’re not doing that so much anymore. Most of it is digital these days but just seeing the benefit of the work that they’re doing in a different way.

I applaud what you’re doing with De Oro Devices and NexStride. I would love for our readers to take a peek at what these instruments are because it’s a new way to help people live a fuller life, harnessing the power of technology to do something great. If I were to leave you with one last bit here, I would love for you to give our audience a 30,000-foot view. Any last tidbit that you’d love them to take with them as they go on their merry ways for the rest of the day?

I would love if you, the person who’s reading, know anybody that has Parkinson’s that might be able to benefit from the device, please share our information. Also, I hope, if anything people take away from this show, that we can create great businesses by doing something that really helps people. I hope that people can hear that and create their own business that’s going to make a difference in the world.

Thank you so much, Sidney, for taking on this important work, creating a tech solution that truly helps people and helps them live a less isolated life. If I look back on this with COVID, all our worlds have seemed a lot smaller. The fact that you’re able to help people, whose lives feel small, even when there isn’t a pandemic, grow that circle so that they can lead a fuller life with the time they’ve got here on this planet. I applaud the effort. You’re doing incredible work. This really is a noble cause. Thank you, Sidney.

Thank you so much, Corinna.

I’d like to invite you all to act. It doesn’t have to be huge. It could be as simple as sharing this show with a friend in need, perhaps somebody who has Parkinson’s or is connected to somebody with Parkinson’s. You can take a peek at NexStride’s website and keep track of what De Oro Devices and Sidney Collin are doing. Use it as inspiration so that you can build your own possible enterprise. Maybe it’s just idea fodder.

To take suggestions, I will invite you to visit our website CareMoreBeBetter.com. There I have an Action page where you can look at any number of businesses or ideas that you could support. I invite you to join this conversation in the community. You can follow us on social spaces, @CareMoreBeBetter and I’m also launching Clubhouse @CareMoreBeBettr or you can just send us an email to Hello@CareMoreBeBetter.com. I want to hear from you. If you like what we’re doing, you can support the show by sharing it with your friends. Please join us and have a lovely day. Thank you, readers, now and always for being a part of this show and community because together we really can do so much more.

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Guest

  • CEO & Founder, DeOro Devices - Makers of NexStride Sidney Collin has a background in computational neuroscience research, with a paper published in the Journal of Clinical Neurophysiology. Sidney received the Cal Poly Outstanding Woman in Engineering Award, the Outstanding Student Award, and the Lisa Hufford Scholarship Award in 2019. She has also been named to the Wire's 30 under 30 list as one of the most influential women at Cal Poly, as well as the Pacific Coast Business Times' 40 under 40 list as a business leader. Sidney graduated from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, with a B.S. in Biomedical Engineering.

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