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Seattle firefighter among first civilians benefiting from IDEO, medical technology developed for wounded soldiers

Gig Harbor, Wash., October 10, 2014 – 36-year-old Seattle resident and firefighter Matt Runte was recently fit with an energy-storing medical technology initially designed for wounded soldiers called the Intrepid Dynamic Exoskeletal Orthosis (IDEO). Earlier this week, Seattle-area journalist’s attended Runte’s clinical follow-up appointment with his Hanger Clinic Clinician and IDEO inventor Ryan Blanck, CPO. Following are some of the resulting news stories:

KING-TV (NBC): Seattle firefighter, Iraq veteran returns to work with prosthetic brace

KCPQ-TV (FOX): Seattle firefighter who lost toes in accident back on job thanks to an amazing technology

Last summer, Runte was involved in a motorcycle accident that resulted in the partial amputation of his left foot and extensive blood vessel damage. The injury required multiple surgeries, skin and muscle grafts, and left the young father and athlete bound to a bed for two months and dependent on assistive devices to walk for another five months, but today, he is thriving with the IDEO technology. Since being fit with the device, Runte has been able to return to work as a firefighter at the same caliber he was prior to his injury. He also has his eyes set on running another marathon, snowboarding, and most importantly, teaching his daughter how to ride a bike without training wheels, something that was cut short last summer when Runte was injured.

About the development of the IDEO and the new Hanger Clinic Specialty Center – While working at Brooke Army Medical Center (BAMC) at the Center for the Intrepid, Seattle native Ryan Blanck invented the IDEO to meet the need to restore mobility to active duty and retired service members with lower extremity traumatic injuries and neuromuscular deficits. The technology enabled them to not only walk pain-free, but also run, jump, and sprint, and even return to various forms of duty, including combat deployments. Blanck has since returned to the Seattle area and joined Hanger Clinic where for the first time, the IDEO technology is now available to the civilian population, benefiting those like Runte.

Individuals seeking the IDEO technology travel from all over the region, country, and even abroad to receive care from Blanck at the recently-opened Hanger Clinic Specialty Center in Gig Harbor. Located on two acres of land, the 13,000 square foot space allows for onsite creation and modification of the IDEO, and intensive fitting, training, and physical therapy necessary for the fitting of the IDEO device. The new specialty center is also a destination for those seeking advanced upper and lower extremity prosthetic care and functional training.

About Hanger: Founded in 1861 by the first amputee of the Civil War, Hanger Clinic, a business unit of Hanger, Inc., owns and operates 760+ patient care clinics nationwide, including 17 in Washington. The certified clinicians of Hanger provide patients with the latest in orthotic and prosthetic solutions, including microprocessor devices for those with limb loss and neuromuscular technologies for those with paralysis due to stroke, MS and other debilitating conditions. For more information on Hanger, visit, and for more information on Hanger Clinic, visit


Jennifer Bittner, Hanger, Inc.

Krisita Burket, Hanger, Inc.

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