Start-ups at OTWorld 2022

As the world's leading trade show, OTWorld is the most important industry platform to discover innovations. The start-ups in the medical aids sector are particularly innovative and present themselves in the Start-up Zone in Hall 3.

This year, 15 start-ups from 13 countries will be showing their promising developments. We interviewed them and asked them three questions. Read the series of interviews and get an overview of what makes their products and companies special, discover the background to the start-up idea and find out why they are presenting themselves at OTWorld 2022.

Actics Medical

1. Introduce your start-up, what is special about your company and your products?

Digitizing the future of foot therapy:

Actics Medical is developing a dynamic digital health platform that integrates adjustable insoles with deep analytics capabilities. We aim to set up a new standard of care for hundreds of millions of people with acute and chronic foot conditions as well as mobility challenges. Actics optimizes the efficacy of foot disorders treatment, associated with diabetes, orthopedic conditions and more.

A technology that adapts to you:

Actics Hybrid+ is the first ever self-customizable smart insole with built-in bio-sensors and clinical real time monitoring capabilities. Actics continuously provides clinical indicators to practitioners to flag risks, intervene in a timely manner, and improve patient health and comfort. This dynamic approach alleviates suffering, reduces clinic visits and costs, and more importantly - saves lives by preventing and minimizing diabetes complications such as DFUs and amputations.

Commercially:

Actics has already developed and is commercializing a prefabricated adjustable insole - ACTICS one - that incorporates a mechanical apparatus that enables a fast, simple and affordable process in creating custom insoles.

2. How did you come up with the idea of founding a company?

Actics founder and CEO Ron Machanian is a lifelong custom orthotics user who wishes to improve footcare health and comfort with the use of AI and IoT. ‘We envision a healthier world where technology improves the well-being of all people’, Ron said.

For decades, the insole‘s industry mode of operation has hardly changed and the technology and current products haven’t sufficiently catered the needs of the orthotics patients who desperately need them. Despite technological advancements in the medical field, insole construction and adjustments are still often performed manually (and inaccurately).

Market study and research in the field, including meetings with clinical professionals, have led to the conclusion that the paradigm is finally shifting and technological innovation can serve as an engine for upgrading a variety of markets (orthopedic, diabetes, comfort / sports, adult falls, sufferers of various neurological problems). Although insoles assist all orthopedic patients, for diabetics, the need for our products is acute because it can significantly reduce DFU suffering, amputation rates and save lives.

3. Start-up Actics Medical at OTWorld 2022 - What motivated you to take part?

This is an important Trade Show for us because we will reveal our innovative products for the first time in public. OTWorld is the perfect place to do so. We are excited to participate in both exhibiting and presenting in the Forum Digitalisation. We seek for exposure, business cooperation or investors. Also, to enrich professional knowledge from other companies that will present or gain feedback and the reaction to our products.

You will find the Start-up Actics Medical in the Start-up-Zone D30/E29.

Anatomic Studios Sweden AB

1. Introduce your start-up, what is special about your company and your products?

We are a Swedish design studio that works to provide choice and self-expression to prosthetic users. Our close team has a unique mix of experience and expertise within design, fashion, 3D-engineering and prosthetics. With 3D-printing, we create fashionable prosthetic accessories that are tailored to the user’s personal style, anatomy and existing prosthesis and we offer both a collection of various style categories as well as the possibility for custom-made designs.

Our solution also comes with a user-friendly way to attach, remove, adjust and change between covers - something that has been very appreciated among both our users and collaborating prosthetists.

2. How did you come up with the idea of founding a company?

The very first cosmetic solution was created as a result of requests and need from clinical patients who wanted new options and more influence over their own prosthetic appearance. The solution led to a significantly increased use of the prosthesis and showed to have a positive impact on body image and self-esteem of the user. It soon also caught the attention of other prosthetic users wanting to know more about this new cosmetic option. There and then we realized the value we could bring to the industry and the many users and prosthetists in it. The idea and vision of Anatomic Studios was born.

3. Anatomic Studios at OTWorld 2022 - What motivated you to take part?

Our work with individually designed prosthetic fashion has been very well received and appreciated in Scandinavia where we've also had the opportunity to meet with many of our customers. However, we frequently receive global inquiries and participating at OTWorld gives us a fantastic opportunity to meet in person with potential customers and partners from outside of Scandinavia. We look forward to talk about body image, fashion and the latest within 3D-printing and digitalization, to be inspired by all the other visitors and exhibitors but also to inspire and initiate many more conversations and collaborations with people that share and believe in our vision. We look forward to having a great time in Leipzig!

You will find the Start-up Anatomic Studios in the Start-up-Zone D26/E25.

CoMoveIT

1. Introduce your start-up, what is special about your company and your products?

CoMoveIT was founded in 2021 in beautiful Bruges, Belgium. The company is a Spin-off of the University of Leuven. Our first product, CoMoveIT Smart, has been developed based on years of research and scientific publications. It’s the result of a cooperation between the departments of Rehabilitation and Movement Sciences, Industrial Engineering and Biosystems. We offer an intelligent head-foot steering system for powered wheelchairs for people with complex movement disorders, focused on, but not limited to, people with Cerebral Palsy(CP).

We are proud to announce a brand-new way of combining Artificial Intelligence (AI) and head-foot control for powered wheelchairs. We are finally able to offer a system that adapts to the user instead of the other way around. Because our CoMoveIT Smart is so intuitive and doesn’t ask for a lot of concentration during its use, we are able to offer a way of therapeutic driving to our users. Allowing them to be seated in a more symmetrical way, delaying musculoskeletal deformities and pain on the one hand, we are also opening the gates to participation and independent mobility on the other hand.

Furthermore, to ensure proper training and use of the systems we offer an in-depth training course for healthcare professionals, through our CoMoveIT Academy. As one of our founding members, Prof. Dr. Monbaliu is an absolute expert on the treatment of CP, we offer deep therapeutical knowledge to clinicians treating people with our system.

We don’t stop there however, an extensive technical and medical training course is also offered to technicians and CPO’s offering our system in their clinics.

2. How did you come up with the idea of founding a company?

Prof Elegast Monbaliu has been working with people with Complex Movement Disorders for 20+ years. During this time, he realised there weren’t a lot of options for the people he was treating if it came to independent mobility. This meant that they had to be pushed in their manual wheelchair or buggy if they wanted to go anywhere.

Not only does this mean they don’t have the ability to choose where they go, it also means being utterly dependent of others if they wanted to move. This comes down to gates towards participation to a lot of events staying closed.

It is then, of course understandable, that these people can sometimes feel frustrated. Not only are they experiencing a form of ‘lock-in’ in their bodies, they aren’t able to go where they want either.

From this frustration Prof Monbaliu started to work on an academic project called Move It, together with a couple of colleagues and co-founder Sotirios Gakopoulos PhD. Through both clinical and technical research focused on sensors and mobility solutions for people with CP and complex movement disorders they discovered that they could offer a solution that added therapeutic value and independent mobility to people for whom the door to mobility up until then was closed.

Moreover, we wanted to valorise academic knowledge. Universities collect an amazing amount of knowledge and research and employ a lot of brilliant people, but if nothing happens with that knowledge, there is no clear benefit for society.

The research had been done, the knowledge compiled, so for us it was just a matter of now offering this knowledge, as an easy-to-use solution, to the relevant people. We could only do that by creating a company and by bringing CoMoveIT Smart to the market.

3. CoMoveIT at OTWorld 2022 - What motivated you to take part?

Given the focus of this year’s OTWorld on CP, we felt that we couldn’t miss the opportunity to showcase our product and company to people from all over the world. Especially given the high attendance of people working on mobility and orthotic solutions for people with CP and other complex movement disorders.

It’s amazing that OTWorld offers a prime location for start-up companies to show the progress being made in the field of technical orthopaedics and mobility and as OTWorld is one of the biggest orthopaedic fairs in the world, where breakthrough solutions are being revealed to the general public, it was an easy decision to be part of that process.

You can find the start-up CoMoveIT in the Start-up-Zone at D26/E25.

Leopoly

1. Introduce your start-up, what is special about your company and your products?

Leopoly, www.leopoly.com

3D and VR/AR design software solutions for custom medical devices.

Leopoly is changing 3D and VR design with fully customizable, industry-leading digital landscapes that are easy to use for a variety of projects. Our sophisticated, intuitive tool opens new doors to 3D design for everyone from corporate professionals to novice designers.

Our unique and easy to use CAD software solution enables businesses to digitize, simplify and automate the additive manufacturing process by and end to end software solution. Our software is tailored to your production needs of wearables, implants and other healthcare products at scale and can utilize 3D scanning and 3D printing.

Our unique and enthusiastic team of 25 people boasts a collective 148 years of experience in the 3D and AR/VR engineering industries in design, UI/UX, and product planning. We have offices in San Mateo, California and Budapest, Hungary.

2. How did you come up with the idea of founding a company?

Leopoly is a software focused company, established as a spin-off from a hardware company. We have established Leopoly to make CAD accessible to any company or individual who wants to take advantage of additive manufacturing, and digitalization of industries, especially the health care industry.

3. Leopoloy at OTWorld 2022 - What motivated you to take part?

We are launching and showcasing our latest CAD solution for the orthotics industry.

Our solution is used by HP Arize among other market players, and we are looking for new industry partnership.

Leopoly allows your business to digitize, simplify and automate the design and manufacturing process of custom made insoles and ankle foot orthoses. Our solution is able to process footscans and prepare customized product designs for 3D printing or other manufacturing techniques.

You can find the start-up Leopoly in the Start-up-Zone at D26/E25.

macu4

1. Please give us a short introduction to your start-up and tell us what is special about your company and your products?

macu4 stands for a new approach to prosthetics and prosthetic design. The approach is based on 5 pillars: business model, remote measuring, design automation, 3D printing and costs.

The business model revolves around offering orthopaedic technicians the opportunity to buy a socket design as a design file or as a 3D-printed component. Consumers can also buy directly from macu4 on private prescription.

The socket design has been set up as a parametric model that is then customised based on the relevant measurements. macu4 has made it so easy to record the measurements that these can be taken remotely for the user's arm without the need for any special equipment. The design automation then customises the socket in only a few seconds, thus saving time and also money thanks to the combination of design and 3D printing.

The design is for a modular, passive, functional prosthetic system for the lower arm that consists of a personalised socket and various activity modules. All activity modules can be adjusted to the desired position using a connecting ring. The main features of the design include its low weight with a maximum of 300 g for the full system and the possibility to wear the perforated socket directly on the skin or with a material sock that protects the entire system from getting wet as well as the compatibility of the module with other sockets.

2. What gave you the idea for your start-up?

The start-up idea is based on findings from interviews with those affected as well as statements in relevant literature about when they avoid the use of a prosthesis or only rarely use one. Reasons given were often the high cost, the lack of comfort and the inadequate functionality for certain bi-manual activities. macu4's idea not only involves overcoming the current deficiencies of existing product solutions but also targets weak points that arise beyond the product design stage.

3. macu4 at OTWorld 2022 – What motivated you to take part?

At macu4, we have finished developing our technology and will be starting the pre-market launch roughly at the same time as OTWorld 2022. So the international trade fair provides an excellent platform for us to make contact with orthopaedic technicians and present our product.

You can find the start-up macu4 in the Start-up-Zone at D30/E29.

MotionTech

1. Introduce your start-up, what is special about your company and your products?

MotionTech is manufacturing and marketing Your® Liner, the first 3D-printed silicone liner. Your® Liner is the next-generation custom liner as a service. Powered by our proprietary silicone 3D printing technology, Your® Liner gives full control to CPOs:

Based on a 3D scan: intimate fit no matter the limb shape

Silicone type: 3 silicone types for all activity levels

Custom thicknesses: protect sensitive zones, fill invaginations, compensate pear-shapes

Suspension: Adapt and combine our suspension options to answer each patient's needs

Aesthetics: Endless possibilities to customise the aesthetics of the liner and the prosthesis

2. How did you come up with the idea of founding a company?

Driven by the idea to combine high-tech development and positive social impact, we partnered with Swiss Engineering universities to develop a first of its kind silicone printing technology for O&P applications.

Along the development, we discussed with leading O&P centres to identify the best applications to this technology. The untapped potential of digitising the production of custom prosthetic liners came up recurrently.

We decided to focus 100% on this application, to develop a world-class product with the potential to change the way CPOs approach complex prosthetic fittings. Launched on the EU market in 2020, our novel approach to prosthetic fitting continues to prove its value through its fast adoption throughout Europe.

3. MotionTech at OTWorld 2022 - What motivated you to take part?

Our novel approach to custom liners has generated a lot of excitement since its launch. The possibilities offered by our technology opens many doors, but those can be overwhelming or counter productive if not used adequately.

In the first phases of launching a new technology there are many unexplored areas. Since the launch, several CPOs have now mastered the potential of our technology and are using it in an efficient and productive manner.

OTWorld 2022 is the perfect occasion for us to present the first results of our initial launch, with our accumulated insights on how to make the best of our technology.

Now set up with a fully operational print farm and manufacturing centre, we are ready to start offering Your® Liner at a global scale. OTWorld is therefore the ideal stage, to get exposure and get our solution known at an international level.

You will find the Start-up MotionTech in the Start-up-Zone D30/E29.

Radii Devices

1. Introduce your start-up, what is special about your company and your products?

Radii Devices are providing prosthetists and orthotists with powerful data-driven design software to support them in fitting more patients, faster and delivering the best quality of care.

We started the company in 2020 with the mission of making our research from the University of Southampton available and accessible at the point-of-care to improve the fitting process for prosthetists, orthotists, and their patients.

We’re here exhibiting the Radii Starter, which is our first step towards evidence-based design. The software enables clinicians to analyse the rectifications they make across all of their patients along with easy-to-use, powerful design tools to create new devices. We’re also giving a preview of some of the new technology which we’re planning to bring to clinics in the future, such as AI and simulation, which supports clinical decision making.

2. How did you come up with the idea of founding a company?

At Radii, we believe prosthetists and orthotists should have access to the cutting-edge of technology to support their fitting processes. We’ve been in the industry since 2015, including attending OTWorld in 2018 as researchers from the University of Southampton with the first technical demo of our software. Everyone we spoke to in the industry kept asking us if they could use the technology we were developing to help deliver the best quality of care to their patients, so we founded the Radii to do just that!

3. Radii Devices at OTWorld 2022 - What motivated you to take part?

We’re here to meet people face-to-face for the first time since we started the company. We’re looking to chat to prosthetists, orthotists, technicians, engineers, really anyone who is interested in how data and technology can be used to transform the fitting process. If you want to try out our software, then come and find us in the start-up zone!

You can find the start-up Radii Devices in the Start-up-Zone at D30/E29.

sendance

1. Introduce your start-up, what is special about your company and your products?

sendance developed a completely new technology based on years of scientific experience in the field of soft and conformable electronics. Our product sendance-grid allows a seamless and permanent integration of pressure sensors in the free form surface of custom-made orthotic devices.

The product category that we will first equip with sendance-grids are orthotic insoles. These will be presented in action during the OTWorld 2022. Soon, we will also enable the integration of pressure sensors in custom made prosthesis shafts and other orthotic devices.

2. How did you come up with the idea of founding a company?

In summer 2020, the company wako3d – still our closest partners for digital solutions for orthotics – visited the LIT Soft Materials Lab at JKU Linz. There the founders of sendance worked as scientists. During the conversations, it became clear that custom-made orthotic devices are the perfect application for the technologies we were researching. This has led to the founding of sendance in spring 2021.

3. sendence at OTWorld 2022 - Why are you there?

The OTWorld as the world’s leading trade show in the field of modern orthopaedic treatment and care is the perfect platform to present our solution for the integration of pressure sensors in orthotic devices to the world for the first time. Here, we can bind new ties and fasten existing ones.

You will find the Start-up sendance in the Start-up-Zone D26/E25.

Spraino

1. Introduce your start-up, what is special about your company and your products?

Spraino specializes in technology that makes footwear safer and alleviates disabilities.

Friction on the edge of shoe soles is high and can lead to injuries such as falls from trips, or ankle distortions. In certain medical conditions, footwear friction may even deteriorate an already existing gait impairment. Our technology enables control of footwear friction and thus the forces generated while walking. By so changing the biomechanics, we change clinical outcomes for the better.

Spraino is driven by research, and the clinical effect of our technology is documented in a large RCT study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine. As a company, we work to help athletes and disabled alike. Whether in minimizing the risk of injuries, alleviating disabilities, or enhancing performance.

Our products help patients alleviate gait impairment and reduce injury risk.

If a shoe has surface contact at any point during the swing phase, the wearer will resistance while walking and moreover be at risk of tripping og twisting. Shoes fitted with Spraino’s solution slide more easily over the surface, relieving the strain of walking and helping patients avoid trips, falls, and ankle twists. Spraino makes every step easier for your patient.

Spraino’s technology benefits

• Foot drop patients in conditions such as stroke and sclerosis

• Patients suffering from Parkinson’s, or long term diabetes who often have severe gait impairments

• Patients suffering from chronic ankle instability

We help patients achieve autonomy and a safer everyday life outside rehabilitation and hospitals. And we help physiotherapists and doctors mobilize patients faster, keeping them motivated and supporting a faster return to normal life.

2. How did you come up with the idea of founding a company?

When playing basketball at university as a medical student, Spraino’s founder, Thor Grønlykke, struggled with frequent ankle sprains. With each injury came long lasting pains, weeks of recovery, and an ever-growing fear of reinjury.

Knowing that the scientific literature was pointing to high friction floors as a major problem, Thor analyzed where on the shoe’s sole the friction is deleterious? The answer pointed to the edge of the shoe, and Thor came up with the simple solution to put tape with low friction on the outer edge of the soles. This allowed his foot to control the friction whenever his ankle came too close to twisting over during play. Thor became completely injury free and to date he have never suffered another ankle injury.

Later, Thor started researching the biomechanics of the musculoskeletal system more thoroughly. And he realized the enormous untapped potential – a new paradigm - of controlling the transmission of force between shoe and surface.

This led to the formation of Spraino and launch of a tribological tape aimed at indoor sports. Along the way, we realized that the potential of the Spraino technology is much broader and can easily move into healthcare. Actually, alleviating disability such as foot drop or catering for the mobility and safety of elderly may even exceed Spraino’s potential in the athletic market.

3. Spraino at OTWorld 2022 - What motivated you to take part?

We aim at improving our network and increasing sales in Germany and the rest of Europe.

You can find the start-up Spraino in the Start-up-Zone at D26/E25.

Vogel Orthopädie Technik

1. Please give us a short introduction to your start-up and tell us what is special about your company and your products?

Vogel Orthopädie Technik is an innovative company where everything revolves around the needs of the customer. Using our know-how, reliability and long years of experience, we develop products to make daily life considerably easier for those who have to wear a prosthetic. We would like to enable disabled people to live their life just like anyone without a disability.

2. What gave you the idea for your start-up?

Our VPS system is an innovative prosthetic socket that offers maximum comfort and mobility to people with an amputated thigh (VPS = Vacuum Pressure Socket). It uses the muscles left in the stump so effectively that users can hardly feel the socket. Painful pressure points are a thing of the past and sensitive personal body parts are not affected. All everyday movements are possible without any restrictions, and even riding a bicycle is no longer a problem. The VPS system is patented and suitable for all mobility classifications.

Since a product like this is not available on the market yet, it was clear to us that, once the patent application was successful, we had to go ahead and found Vogel Orthopädie Technik.

3. Vogel Orthopädie Technik at OTWorld 2022 – What motivated you to take part?

The world’s leading trade show for prosthetics and orthotics is a good indicator of the level of acceptance our product will receive from technicians and users, as they will both be attending OTWorld.

You can find the start-up Vogel Orthopädie Technik in the Start-up-Zone at D30/E29.