Kelly is a graduate of Carnegie Mellon University with a dual bachelor’s degree in Materials Science and Biomedical Engineering. As a soccer player, swimmer, and triathlete, she suffered her share of frustrating sports injuries, including severe lower back pain. Combining her love of innovation and a motivation to help people rehabilitate from injury while maintaining an active lifestyle, she founded ActivAided Orthotics in 2011.
Dr. Chimes is a nationally renowned expert on spine care and sports medicine, with an outstanding reputation for his care of athletes of all ages. He has a clinical focus on treating patients with musculoskeletal conditions and helping them increase their activity levels. Dr. Chimes received a PhD in Anatomical Sciences in 2000 and a medical doctorate in 2002 from Stony Brook University. He completed the physical medicine and rehabilitation residency in 2006 at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey-New Jersey Medical School/Kessler Institute of Rehabilitation, and completed additional specialty training in a Sports & Spine Fellowship at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago/Northwestern University. Gary works with ActivAided Orthotics as a consultant on clinical needs and the medical efficacy of the technology implemented in ActivAided products.
ActivAided Orthotics was born out of a biomedical engineering class project and the combined passion of our co-founders: Kelly Collier, a biomedical engineer, and Dr. Gary Chimes, a practicing spinal health physician.
Our story started in 2011 at Carnegie Mellon University, where Kelly Collier, now our CEO, was a senior pursuing a dual degree in Materials Science and Biomedical Engineering. A competitive swimmer with her share of debilitating back pain, she saw the course in Biomedical Engineering Design as a chance to finally do something about it. Teamed up with fellow biomedical engineers and fellow back pain sufferers, Kelly began reaching out to local physicians, hoping one would jump on the opportunity to be a part of a solution. Exactly one did, our Chief Medical Adviser, Gary P. Chimes, MD, PhD.
A Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation physician, Gary Chimes was acutely aware of the lack of good back braces on the market and always hoped someone would create a device that taught people how to correct poor postural habits. He knew that the majority of back problems are caused by tiny bad habits compounding over time, and he wanted a posture training device that could help someone rehabilitate from injury while also training proper form and technique.
With this concept, Kelly and her team built a prototype. Gary loved it.
Although committed to a PhD program at Johns Hopkins University, the project had morphed into a passion that Kelly just couldn’t let die. She deferred the PhD program and decided to push the project further. ActivAided Orthotics was founded that year, and that prototype has morphed into the ActivAided Posture Training Shirt.
Now, ActivAided Orthotics is a passionate team of innovators dedicated to supporting active lifestyles and keeping people of all ages strong, healthy, and pain free.
An early ActivAided prototype of the posture back brace created for Kelly’s Biomedical Engineering Design class at Carnegie Mellon University.