November 30, 2018
Dan Everson Podiatry: Stepping it up
When Dan Everson set foot into the world of podiatry, the determined 20-year-old had a vision to revolutionise lower limb health care. Decades on, Dan has achieved his goal and continues to make major breakthroughs in the industry to this day.
At just 20 years old and fresh out of university, Dan Everson opened his first podiatry clinic in Maroochydore. At that time, podiatry was practiced within a chemist, and orthotics were made in the podiatrist’s home using a cast mould of the patient’s foot.
“I could see there was a lot of room for research and development and a better understanding of how orthotics work, so I embarked on that journey,” says Dan.
“From the beginning I had a real vision for where we wanted to take it. I had this vision of revolutionising lower limb health care.”
After decades of research, testing and innovation, Dan is now an industry leader in Australia and produces orthotics for around 100 podiatrists, including his seven practices in South-east Queensland.
“If we can optimise function of the limb that is actually working we’ll get a much better outcome for their mobility and quality of life.”
“My initial vision of what podiatry should be is what it is today. I felt quite determined to see that happen and we’ve always been at the forefront of innovation in terms of trying to deliver better services and provide more evidence based outcomes,” he says.
One of Dan’s goals was to set up a group of practices to better develop technology and provide better outcomes for more people over time. Having started his career straight out of university and with no lavish lifestyle to uphold, Dan could begin investing in his big ideas from the get-go. After eight years of setting a solid foundation and raising capital, Dan started computer designing and making orthotics.
“I could see there were inconsistencies and certain design parameters that made a device work better than others. And I felt that if we could use the technology, we’d be able to control the variables more so we could get more consistent results for our patients,” he says.
It was never about producing the product at a cheaper cost; in fact, his team invested one million dollars in developing the technology.
“We had to develop it all from scratch and there was really high risk. I got together with some other podiatrists in Melbourne and we developed the core technology and went from there.”
And while Dan is now manufacturing orthotics for hundreds of podiatrists across the country, he says he’s always been determined to improve and invest continually in research and development.
With some massive breakthroughs throughout his career, Dan is thrilled to be launching a new product in 2019, a SENSOKINETIC®.
“We’ve been using this product on our patients now for about six years and we’ve spent well over half a million dollars developing that technology. It works by not only supporting the foot but also stimulating the neuromuscular function of the foot,” Dan explains.
In a pilot study conducted with the University of the Sunshine Coast, Dan found that when elite athletes were wearing the SENSOKINETIC®, they experienced 20 per cent improvement in functional performance. When athletes with no alignment issues used the device, their performance didn’t decrease.
“This is a really critical feature of the study, because what’s found in a lot of orthotic-related studies is that if you give orthotics to people who don’t need them, they often go backwards, they don’t improve,” says Dan.
These advancements in design, individualisation and protocols have led Dan to an exciting breakthrough in the development of technology for single limb amputees.
“If we can optimise function of the limb that is actually working we’ll get a much better outcome for their mobility and quality of life.
“It’s not just for the people who are high performing paralympians but also the people that are just getting around the shops with their artificial leg and their single limb,” he says.
People from all walks of life can benefit from visiting Dan Everson Podiatry, particularly those dealing with chronic pain.
“If individualisation of a product is done effectively, it has really big implications for people with chronic functionally related pain. And there are a lot of people in chronic pain (knee pain, hip pain, back pain) and most therapeutic modalities are really treating the pain, they’re not really treating the cause. We do believe in a team approach in dealing with functionally related pain, but we also want to make sure that the application of a product to modify function is integrated into that approach.”
Dan estimates that 80 per cent of chronic pain is caused by foot issues. He says if you or someone you know is constantly taking pain medication, complaining of pain, experiencing pain after exercise, or visiting practitioners who treat the pain and not the cause, then they must pay him a visit. Children can also benefit from the sensor kinetic approach when it comes to posture or migraines and they’re also doing a lot of work in falls prevention.
“Our argument is that the quality of your life has a lot to do with the quality of your mobility,” says Dan.
As one of the few podiatry groups in Australia that are funding research directly into product development, the future looks bright for Dan Everson and his team.
“We’re doing it because we want to eventually make our products more accessible to more people so there are more benefits for all. But education is important, which is why I’m writing my second edition of my book.”
It’s no wonder the podiatrist, entrepreneur, author and founder of kinetic theory is set to take on the world next, with patents granted all around the world.