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Our Story

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.

ActivAided Backstory

An early ActivAided prototype of the posture back brace created for Kelly’s Biomedical Engineering Design class at Carnegie Mellon University.