An unmet need was the genesis behind Compression Dynamics LLC, an Omaha company that founder Martin Winkler, M.D., describes as a “research-based, bootstrap entrepreneurial textile design and manufacturing company.”
In 1999, Winkler treated a man who had a wound on one leg as well as edema (swelling that commonly occurs with medical conditions such as venous insufficiency or congestive heart failure) in both legs. After Winkler used a burn unit stockinet to hold the dressing in place on one of the man’s legs, his swelling disappeared.
From that experience, Winkler developed stockinet prototypes and started the company. Today, the company manufactures its elastic compression stockinet, patented in October 2011, in a small factory near Chattanooga, Tenn. As medical director for the company, Winkler works on product design and new clinical uses. He plans to submit a second U.S. patent soon.
Compression Dynamics’ signature product is EdemaWear, which uses a new textile technology called longitudinal yarn compression. Because it is more comfortable than binding medical compression stockings, patients often are more willing to wear EdemaWear, which means their swelling is reduced and their limbs heal faster.
Winkler, a vascular surgeon in Omaha, said marketing is a challenge. Most end users are elderly people who tend to be more difficult to reach online. And, although its products are reasonably priced, most insurance plans will only cover EdemaWear when used over an open wound.
To Winkler, being a member of Bio Nebraska has been beneficial. His daughter had an internship with one Bio Nebraska member, and he met his company’s product liability insurance broker at a Bio Nebraska function. “Networking is everything when you are a tiny bootstrap medical business located outside a regional medical business cluster,” Winkler said.