(19)
(11)EP 3 494 948 B1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT SPECIFICATION

(45)Mention of the grant of the patent:
13.01.2021 Bulletin 2021/02

(21)Application number: 18210407.5

(22)Date of filing:  05.12.2018
(51)International Patent Classification (IPC): 
A61H 23/02(2006.01)
A61F 13/00(2006.01)

(54)

FLEXIBLE VIBRATION MODULE FOR SNAP IN ATTACHMENT TO A GROMMET EMBEDDED IN A COMPRESSION WRAP

FLEXIBLES VIBRATIONSMODUL FÜR EINSCHNAPPVERBINDUNG ZU EINER DICHTUNG, DIE IN EINER KOMPRESSIONSWICKLUNG EINGEBETTET IST

MODULE DE VIBRATION FLEXIBLE DESTINÉ À ÊTRE FIXÉ SUR UN ILLET INTÉGRÉ DANS UN EMBALLAGE DE COMPRESSION


(84)Designated Contracting States:
AL AT BE BG CH CY CZ DE DK EE ES FI FR GB GR HR HU IE IS IT LI LT LU LV MC MK MT NL NO PL PT RO RS SE SI SK SM TR

(30)Priority: 05.12.2017 US 201715832097

(43)Date of publication of application:
12.06.2019 Bulletin 2019/24

(73)Proprietor: Brownmed, Inc.
Boston, MA 02110 (US)

(72)Inventors:
  • BROWN, Ivan E.
    Boston, MA Massachusetts 02110 (US)
  • RODRIGUEZ, Brandon
    Boston, MA Massachusetts 02110 (US)
  • BRETON, Daniel Joseph
    Boston, MA Massachusetts 02110 (US)

(74)Representative: Wood, Graham 
Bailey Walsh & Co LLP 1 York Place
Leeds, LS1 2DR
Leeds, LS1 2DR (GB)


(56)References cited: : 
WO-A1-2015/101790
US-A1- 2016 051 439
US-B2- 9 775 769
US-A1- 2014 066 925
US-B1- 8 753 299
  
      
    Note: Within nine months from the publication of the mention of the grant of the European patent, any person may give notice to the European Patent Office of opposition to the European patent granted. Notice of opposition shall be filed in a written reasoned statement. It shall not be deemed to have been filed until the opposition fee has been paid. (Art. 99(1) European Patent Convention).


    Description

    FIELD OF THE INVENTION



    [0001] This invention relates to a vibration pad or module and a compression wrap for releasable attachment to the pad. Both are designed for vibration therapy of muscles and joints afflicted with aching, soreness or injury.

    BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION



    [0002] Both vibration therapy and compression wraps for muscles and joints have been around for some time, and both have been used with some degree of therapeutic success. While there are available massaging devices for muscles and joints, their success, or lack of it depend greatly upon their combined effectiveness, that is both the effectiveness of the wrap and the effectiveness of the vibration therapy. Each affects the other and collectively they affect the therapeutic success of the device/wrap in question.

    [0003] With miniaturizing of vibration inducing modules the ability to be far more creative in developing vibration modules and wraps that affectively penetrate muscles and joints with vibrations and/or pulsations has increased tremendously. For examples of vibration wraps and or gloves, see the commonly owned and assigned U.S. Patent Brown et al. 9,775,769 issued October 3, 2017. The Brown U.S. Patent '769 relates to particularly to an orthotic compression glove for massaging the fingers and digits. It uses coin motors with a rechargeable battery, with the unit embedded in a stretchable compression glove. For an example of a vibration knee wrap, one may look to Waldon U.S. Patent 8,753,299 for massaging knees with a compression wrap that utilizes vibrating motors surrounding the kneecap.

    [0004] Holding vibrating motors in a fixed location in a wrap regardless of the flexing of a joint to many different orientations offers some difficulty. That is to say, to enhance the vibration effectiveness the coin motors need to be juxtaposed closely to the muscle or joint in a correct orientation.

    [0005] For the above reasons, some efforts have been made to produce vibration modules to flex with a moving joint for example of an athlete. In this regard see published PCT application, international publication number WO2016/051414A1, published April 7, 2016. The corresponding publication, or more accurately corrected publication of the corresponding U.S. application is U.S. 2016/0302996, published October 20, 2016. It relates to a wearable vibration device that employs a soft wearable module to deliver high energy vibration deep in the muscle and soft tissue when placed inside a liner. It is lined up with holes of an alignment wrap and Velcro straps are then tensioned to hold the wearable module against the skin. The problem is such units do not hold firmly and alignment can be jostled out of place, particularly by vigorous athletic motion. WO2015/l01790 discloses a vibration wrap or pad for use with a coin motor. US2014/066925 discloses a glove with a vibration motor and a switch for operation of the same. US2016/0051439 discloses a vibrating mask.

    [0006] With the developing coin motor technology and compression wrap technology there has been demonstration of a particular need for an improved flexible module or pad that will allow the pad to flexibly bend with the limb or joint to keep the vibrating motors tightly positioned against the wearer's skin, even in athletic movement.

    [0007] Further there is a need for a unit which allows modification of the vibration frequency in a range of low to high and if deemed necessary even pulsed.

    [0008] Further, there is a need for a vibration pad that can be attached to a compression wrap in a manner which assures that the orientation will constantly be the same when the two are combined together, thus providing assurance that proper and consistent orientation is achieved with each application of the wrap to a patient.

    [0009] A primary objective of the present invention is to fulfill the above needs. Particularly the above mentioned specific needs are fulfilled by a unit having a bottom and top housing made of flexible polymer capable of translating vibration throughout the unit and from there directly to soft tissue or joints of a patient.

    [0010] An important further feature addressed in the present invention is the arrangement of the array of motors arranged in a radial pattern surrounding the targeted pain area and the attachment technique involving a vibration pad pressed fit into a grommet secured to the wrap with the orientation of the grommet assuring that the vibration module is properly placed. It is therefore assured as secure and in a consistent and correct location.

    SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION



    [0011] A vibration wrap, comprising: a vibration module having a housing, a rechargeable battery with an on/off switch in said housing, a compression joint wrap with a click in - click out grommet secured to said wrap; said grommet being adapted to removably secure said housing to said compression joint wrap, a plurality of flexible arms radiating outwardly from said housing, each arm terminating in a coin motor which is electrically connected to said rechargeable battery via electrical wire_connectors characterised in that said click in-click out grommet comprises a silicone grommet skirt and in that the vibration module comprises a molded channel supported by a rigid frame of the housing and capable of locking into the silicone grommet skirt to removably secure said housing to said compression joint wrap.

    BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS



    [0012] 

    Figure 1 is a top perspective view of the flexible vibration pad.

    Figure 2 is a plan view of the flexible vibration pad.

    Figure 3 is a bottom view of the flexible vibration pad.

    Figure 4 shows an exploded view of how the flexible vibration pad may click into the grommet of a shin wrap.

    Figure 5 shows an exploded view of the component parts of the flexible vibration pad from the top-down perspective.

    Figure 6 shows another exploded view of the component parts of the flexible vibration pad from the bottom-up perspective.

    Figure 7 shows an arm wrap top view with a click-in grommet.

    Figure 8 shows a knee wrap top view with a click-in grommet.

    Figure 9 shows the bottom view of arm wrap of Figure 7.

    Figure 10 shows the bottom view of the knee wrap of Figure 8.

    Figure 11 is a side view of the flexible vibration pad clicked in the grommet of the wrap.

    Figure 12 shows a cross sectional view of Figure 2 along line 12-12 of Figure 2.

    Figure 13 shows a bottom view of the arm wrap of Figure 7 with the flexible vibration pad clicked in the grommet of the arm wrap of Figure 7.

    Figure 14 shows a top view of the arm wrap of Figure 7 with the pad clicked in the grommet of the shin wrap.


    DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS



    [0013] The invention is generally shown in conjunction with Figures 1-6 as it relates to the particulars of construction of vibration pad or module 10. Figure 7-14 demonstrate the wrap and flexible grommet that allows the vibration module 10 to be snapped into location within the wrap for assurance of proper position with respect to a wearer's muscles and/or joint.

    [0014] The vibration module 10 is comprised of a housing 12 having an on/off switch 14, and a plurality of radiating flexible arms 16, 18, 20, 22, 24 and 26 that radiate outwardly from housing 12. Terminal ends of arms 16, 18, 20, 22, 24 and 26 house coin motors 28, 30, 32, 34, 36 and 38 which are electrically connected by electrical wire connectors 40, 42, 44, 46, 48 and 50 to printed circuit board (PCB) 70, as is lithium battery 72 which also connects to electrical plug in 75 on printed circuit board 70. Mode switch 14 (push button on/off) allows the frequency to be varied from low to high frequency to vibration pulsing, depending on the number of times on/off switch 14 is pushed.

    [0015] Vibrating coin motors are known and are available from a variety of sources. One example suitable for use herein are those described in our earlier U.S. Patent 9,775,769A suitable supplier of those is Shenzhen Jingkefa Electronics Company Limited a battery suitable for the vibrating motors is lithium ion batteries such as a 3.7-volt lithium ion battery. Frequencies suitable for the vibration therapy are known and generally have been described as within the range of 20-50 Hz. A desired LED display as shown at 74, 76, 78, and 80 can also be housed within housing 12 used to indicate use mode and on/off.

    [0016] Thus, to operate the unit one simply turns on the on/off switch 14 by pressing it, and then selects from the mode by how many pushes which is indicated by LED's 74, 76, 78, and 80.

    [0017] The radiating arms of the vibration pad 16, 18, 20, 22, 24 and 26 are made of a flexible material, usually a polymeric material such as a silicon polymer. Housing 12 is made from thermoplastic elastomeric material, commonly referred to as TPE that is well known to those skilled in the art.

    [0018] As illustrated, the pad itself is preferably made of two parts of the same material a top 60 and a bottom 62 which are joined together at a midline seam to encapsulate the coin motors (28 to 38) and their electrical wire connectors (40 to 50).

    [0019] The construction of the top cover 60 utilizes an over molding process to join the flexible silicone cover to a rigid internal frame 59. The internal frame 59 prevents migration or damage of the internally housed central electronics while also adding durability to the molded in FlexLOCK® channel. The use of over molding allows one to seamlessly integrate rigid material 59 into the Pad design while still offering a comfortable and flexible one-piece top cover, 60.

    [0020] Top cover 60 is created with dual hardness produced by a multi stage molding process allows a firm anchor for the interlocking channel and secure fit of PCB housing interface. Using a multi stage process allows us to control the hardness and flexibility in specific zones of the top housing. Arms of top cover consist of a lower hardness material 80-85 shore A hardness and gradually increases to 85-90 Shore A at the heart of pad, providing a semi-rigid core structure. The Greater hardness provides structure and shape memory to the flexible pad 10. Hard material acts as an isolator that reflects the vibration down towards user's extremity. Hard top cover 60 houses and protects the internal PCB 70 and battery, 72.

    [0021] Bottom cover 62 is lesser hardness or 70-72 Shore A hardness. The thin walls maximize vibration and flexibility. Soft material with raised surfaces grip to user's extremity and maximizes the translation of vibration to user. The thin walls also allow us to maximize the energy produced by the coin motor in an efficient draw that produces the desired run time 40 - 45 minutes with a small compact 3.4v power supply.

    [0022] Module assembly uses a silicone compatible adhesive coupled with molded interlocking channels to allow for a sanitary sealed channel without the need for additional hardware or assembly. The use of flexible silicone compatible adhesive and molded channels allows for durable assembly without loss in flexibility from additional hardware or fasteners.

    [0023] As earlier described, this combination of the flexible vibration module 10 and wraps may be used with a variety of differing wraps, many referred to as compression wraps. It can be used in combination for example with a knee wrap, an elbow wrap, a calf or shin wrap, an ankle or foot wrap, upper thigh wraps, lower back wraps, wrist wraps, and shoulder wraps. The wrap is a non-limiting feature as long as it has the snap in grommet as for example illustrated in Figures 7-14. The flexible grommet 56 is particularly shown in a snapped in relationship with the vibration module 10 in Figure 11 and in cross section through the housing in Figure 12. Figure 13 illustrates the inside or skin side of the vibration module bottom and snapped in relationship ready for wrapping. Figure 14 illustrates the top side with only the housing 12 top showing; the interior part is in dotted line relationship for the flexible arm 16, 18, 20, 22, 24, and 26 as lead line 80 demonstrates. As is illustrated in Figure 11 the housing 12 has rim 15 which snaps into the grommet holding the module in place. Because flexible grommet 56 has a skirt 57, it also can be snapped out by simply pushing back. However, it must be held correctly in the desirable orientation position by the snap-in snap-out relation with top of housing 12 of the vibration module 10.

    [0024] The flexible grommet 56 click-in system consists of a molded channel 15 in the top housing of the vibration module 10 that will lock into the flexible silicone grommet skirt 57. The flexible grommet 56 can be sewn or bonded to a wide variety of fabrics and allows the vibration module to seamlessly integrate into braces, wraps, and clothing. The grommet itself, 56 is highly flexible and capable of flexing and stretching to form around virtually any part of the body without effecting fit or comfort. The "press to lock" system allows the vibration module to be quickly and easily moved to different wraps or parts of the body. The FlexLOCK grommet 56 holds vibration module 10 securely in place during fitting and placement ensuring that the user can easily apply the pad to the treatment area and also prevents migration during use. The FlexLOCK grommet 56 also utilizes a pass-through open face allowing access to the PCB 70 interface and charging port during treatment. Users can easily identify mode and battery life as well as make adjustments without the need to remove the unit.

    [0025] As illustrated at the ends of the wraps Figures 7 and 8 are typical hook and loop fasteners of the Velcro® brand type 82 used to secure the wrap in place on a patient's limb.

    [0026] In the actual operation the unit works as follows. Operation module 10, or more accurately the top of its housing 12 is pushed through flexible grommet 56 and snapped into place in skirt 57 so that it is removably secured to the wrap for example 52 arm wrap and 54 knee wrap. The wrap is then place on the limb at the desired location with the straps wrapped around and hooked tightly. On/off button 14 is pushed and one of the mode switches 74, 76, 78 selected and vibration begins. Battery 72 is recharged as needed by a recharge receptacle 75.

    [0027] As best shown in Figures 3 and 6 the bottom of the vibration pad 62 exterior surface is textured to assist in place holding against the skin of a patient.

    [0028] The unit is held securely and cannot rotate freely or move out of position because of the removable but secure holding of grommet 56. It therefore can be seen that the invention accomplishes at least all of its stated objectives.


    Claims

    1. A vibration wrap, comprising:

    a vibration module (10) having a housing (12),

    a rechargeable battery (72) with an on/off switch (14) in said housing,

    a compression joint wrap with a click in - click out grommet (56) secured to said wrap;

    said grommet (56) being adapted to removably secure said housing (12) to said compression joint wrap;

    a plurality of flexible arms (16, 18, 20, 22, 24, 26) radiating outwardly from said housing (12), each arm terminating in a coin motor (28, 30, 32, 34, 36, 38) which is electrically connected to said rechargeable battery (72) via electrical wire connectors (40,42,44,46,48,50), characterised in that said click in-click out grommet comprises a silicone grommet skirt (57) and in that the vibration module comprises a molded channel: (15) supported by a rigid frame (59) of the housing (12) and capable of locking into the silicone grommet skirt (57) to removably secure said housing to said compression joint wrap.


     
    2. The vibration wrap of claim 1 wherein the compression joint wrap is selected from the group consisting of gloves, forearm wraps, upper arm wraps, shoulder wraps, thigh wraps, shin wraps, calf wraps, knee wraps, ankle wraps and lower back wraps.
     
    3. The vibration wrap of claim 2 wherein the on/off switch as a high frequency vibration setting, a low vibration frequency setting and a pulsing setting.
     
    4. The vibration wrap of claim 1 wherein said plurality of flexible arms are a silicone material capable of transferring vibrations.
     
    5. The vibration wrap of claim 1 wherein the click-in click-out grommet is sewn into said wrap.
     
    6. The vibration wrap of claim 1 wherein the coin motors are embedded in the flexible arms, and have a bottom side, which is a textured surface.
     
    7. The vibration wrap of claim 1 wherein the vibration module is comprised of a top portion and a bottom portion joined to create a sealed unit.
     
    8. The vibration wrap of claim 7 wherein the top portion is a flexible silicone polymer.
     
    9. The vibration wrap of claim 8 wherein the bottom portion is a thermoplastic elastomer.
     
    10. The vibration wrap of claim 1 which has six flexible arms.
     


    Ansprüche

    1. Vibrationsbandage, die Folgendes aufweist:

    ein Vibrationsmodul (10) mit einem Gehäuse (12),

    einer wiederaufladbaren Batterie (72) mit einem Ein/Aus-Schalter (14) in dem genannten Gehäuse,

    einer Gelenk-Kompressionsbandage mit einem Einrast-Ausrast-Einsetzring (56), der an der genannten Bandage befestigt ist;

    wobei der genannte Einsetzring (56) zum abnehmbaren Befestigen des genannten Gehäuses (12) an der genannten Gelenk-Kompressionsbandage geeignet ist;

    mehrere flexible Arme (16, 18, 20, 22, 24, 26), die sich von dem genannten Gehäuse (12) strahlenförmig nach außen erstrecken, wobei jeder Arm mit einem münzförmigen Motor (28, 30, 32, 34, 36, 38) endet, der über Stromkabelverbinder (40, 42, 44, 46, 48, 50) elektrisch mit der genannten wiederaufladbaren Batterie (72) verbunden ist, dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass der genannte Einrast-Ausrast-Einsetzring einen Silikon-Einsetzringrand (57) aufweist und dass das Vibrationsmodul eine Formnut (15) aufweist, die von einem steifen Rahmen (59) des Gehäuses (12) getragen wird und in den Silikon-Einsetzringrand (57) eingerastet werden kann, um das genannte Gehäuse abnehmbar an der genannten Gelenk-Kompressionsbandage zu befestigen.


     
    2. Vibrationsbandage nach Anspruch 1, wobei die Gelenk-Kompressionsbandage aus der Gruppe bestehend aus Handschuhen, Vorderarmbandagen, Oberarmbandagen, Schulterbandagen, Oberschenkelbandagen, Schienbeinbandagen, Wadenbandagen, Kniebandagen, Knöchelbandagen und Rückenbandagen ausgewählt ist.
     
    3. Vibrationsbandage nach Anspruch 2, wobei der Ein/Aus-Schalter eine Hochfrequenz-Vibrationseinstellung, eine Niederfrequenz-Vibrationseinstellung und eine pulsierende Einstellung hat.
     
    4. Vibrationsbandage nach Anspruch 1, wobei die genannten mehreren flexiblen Arme aus einem Silikonmaterial sind, das Vibrationen übertragen kann.
     
    5. Vibrationsbandage nach Anspruch 1, wobei der Einrast-Ausrast-Einsetzring in die genannte Bandage eingenäht ist.
     
    6. Vibrationsbandage nach Anspruch 1, wobei die münzförmigen Motoren in den flexiblen Armen eingebettet sind und eine Unterseite haben, die eine texturierte Oberfläche ist.
     
    7. Vibrationsbandage nach Anspruch 1, wobei das Vibrationsmodul aus einem oberen Teil und einem unteren Teil besteht, die zu einer abgedichteten Einheit zusammengefügt sind.
     
    8. Vibrationsbandage nach Anspruch 7, wobei der obere Teil aus einem flexiblen Silikon ist.
     
    9. Vibrationsbandage nach Anspruch 8, wobei der untere Teil aus einem thermoplastischen Elastomer ist.
     
    10. Vibrationsbandage nach Anspruch 1, die sechs flexible Arme hat.
     


    Revendications

    1. Bandage à vibration, comprenant :

    un module de vibration (10) ayant un logement (12),

    une batterie rechargeable (72) avec un commutateur marche/arrêt (14) dans ledit logement,

    un bandage d'articulation de compression avec un œillet d'encliquetage / de désencliquetage (56) qui est fixé sur ledit bandage ;

    ledit œillet (56) étant conçu pour fixer de manière amovible ledit logement (12) sur ledit bandage d'articulation de compression ;

    une pluralité de bras souples (16, 18, 20, 22, 24, 26) qui rayonnent vers l'extérieur à partir dudit logement (12), chaque bras se terminant dans un moteur de la taille d'une pièce de monnaie (28, 30, 32, 34, 36, 38) qui est connecté électriquement à ladite batterie rechargeable (72) via des connecteurs à fil électrique (40, 42, 44, 46, 48, 50), caractérisé en ce que ledit œillet d'encliquetage / de désencliquetage comprend une jupe d'œillet en silicone (57) et en ce que le module de vibration comprend un canal moulé (15) soutenu par un cadre rigide (59) du logement (12) et apte à se verrouiller dans la jupe d'œillet en silicone (57) afin de fixer de manière amovible ledit logement sur ledit bandage d'articulation de compression.


     
    2. Bandage à vibration de la revendication 1 dans lequel le bandage d'articulation de compression est sélectionné parmi le groupe consistant en gants, bandages d'avant-bras, bandages du haut du bras, bandages d'épaule, bandages de cuisse, bandages de tibia, bandages de mollet, bandages de genou, bandages de cheville et bandages du bas du dos.
     
    3. Bandage à vibration de la revendication 2 dans lequel le commutateur marche/arrêt a un réglage de vibration à haute fréquence, un réglage de fréquence à faible vibration et un réglage de pulsation.
     
    4. Bandage à vibration de la revendication 1 dans lequel ladite pluralité de bras souples sont en une matière de silicone apte à transférer des vibrations.
     
    5. Bandage à vibration de la revendication 1 dans lequel l'œillet d'encliquetage / de désencliquetage est cousu dans ledit bandage.
     
    6. Bandage à vibration de la revendication 1 dans lequel les moteurs de la taille d'une pièce de monnaie sont intégrés dans les bras souples, et ont un côté inférieur, qui est une surface texturée.
     
    7. Bandage à vibration de la revendication 1 dans lequel le module de vibration se compose d'une portion supérieure et d'une portion inférieure qui sont jointes pour créer une unité étanche.
     
    8. Bandage à vibration de la revendication 7 dans lequel la portion supérieure est un polymère de silicone souple.
     
    9. Bandage à vibration de la revendication 8 dans lequel la portion inférieure est un élastomère thermoplastique.
     
    10. Bandage à vibration de la revendication 1 qui a six bras souples.
     




    Drawing






































    Cited references

    REFERENCES CITED IN THE DESCRIPTION



    This list of references cited by the applicant is for the reader's convenience only. It does not form part of the European patent document. Even though great care has been taken in compiling the references, errors or omissions cannot be excluded and the EPO disclaims all liability in this regard.

    Patent documents cited in the description