Where innovations have legs
Young companies present their developments in the ‘Start-up Zone’ at OTWorld
The orthopaedic aids market is determined by a process of constant change and progress. There is an ever-present need, it seems, for new developments. This year, OTWorld will, for the first time, be offering specific support to young companies in their attempt to successfully launch their new products in this innovative sector. The ‘Start-up Zone’ will, therefore, be making its début in 2018. At this joint stand, one can look forward to seeing a sole-plate for measuring the forces that act on the foot, 3D software for medical products tailored to the patient and a Russian handshake. Exhibitors will also be bringing along some unusual prosthesis covers, new products for treatments with exo-prostheses and examples of therapeutic apparatus for mobilising joints and training muscles.
According to the findings of a survey recently conducted by Spectaris, an association in the high-tech sector, the majority of established companies are open to the idea of collaborating with start-ups. So far, however, there has frequently been a lack of contact between the two. In the field of orthopaedic aids, at least, OTWorld is now reacting to this and, in 2018, there will, for the first time, be a ‘Start-up Zone’. At this joint stand, young companies will be exhibiting their innovative developments and services and will be taking advantage of this opportunity to make contact with both potential partners and customers.
Measuring multi-dimensional forces acting on a foot in its shoe
Based on an idea born in a biomechanics laboratory at the University of Münster, vebitosolution GmbH will be introducing their flexible measuring sole, the vebitoEASY, at OTWorld in Leipzig. For the first time ever, the vebito measuring system also makes it possible to measure the biomechanical loads on the foot when it is inside the shoe. The vebitoEASY measures both the fore and rear foot at the same time. The measurements for four directions of movement can be recorded in a single procedure. And the vebitoSCIENCE device now extends the range of applications. The new measuring sole has been developed for research purposes and measures the load at five points. The measuring system also includes specially developed software, which is able to represent both flexion and torsion loads in an easily accessible manner. The Managing Directors of the start-up will be giving a lecture in the World Congress on how vebitoSCIENCE works in practice and what results can be achieved with it.
3D software for medical products tailored to the patient
The Finnish start-up Versoteq 3D Solutions Oy also operate in the field of digital opportunities. Using their new online platform, 3D models can be produced in an automated process. Scan data are processed to create a 3D model, which can then be checked in virtual space or printed out. So, it is now finally possible to manufacture tailor-made medical products based on biometric information. The Finnish company was founded in 2013 and offers its software to industry, the retail trade and to museums, too.
Complete 3D package for thumb braces
The founders of Manometric are coming to Leipzig from the Netherlands to introduce their 3D hand scanner ManoX, together with its accompanying user-friendly software ManoStudio. When used together, these two products make it possible to create individually fitted thumb braces with a 3D printer. The company came into being, on the one hand, out of a fascination for 3D technology and, on the other, out of a desire to make technology available and relevant to human beings. In the opinion of the Manometric’s founders, there has been a dearth of practical applications for the theoretical concepts in this field. The start-up will be hoping to introduce itself to potential partners at OTWorld, with a view to collaborating with them in the future.
The two-year-old MaxBionic Prostheses Lab from Moscow has also found its home amongst applications for 3D technology. They are introducing a bionic hand prosthesis with built-in microcomputer. The MeHandS range came into being as a result of cooperation with engineer Maxim Lyashko. A prosthesis wearer himself, he developed his own low-cost 3D printed prototypes, from which MaxBionic’s prizewinning smart MeHandS eventually derived. Its features include, amongst other things, touch screen capability, sensor points, a feedback system and movable fingers. It is available in a variety of versions and can be used in conjunction with products from other manufacturers.
Cyborgs populate Mars
The representatives of Motorica LLC, who all come from Moscow, see their work as being at the interface between medicine and robotics. Their portfolio includes four types of prosthesis, suitable for both children and adults, who have undergone upper extremity amputation. These products are equipped with communications technology and are capable of going online. They react to voice commands and can be used to make payments. The founders of Motorica take the view that present perceptions of prosthetics are outdated and prefer the term ‘Cyborg’. They have developed ATTILAN to accompany the rehabilitation process. ATTILAN is a virtual-reality platform based on the theme of the colonisation of Mars. For the first time, its creators will be demonstrating to a trade and professional public at OTWorld in 2018, how rehabilitation exercises can be transposed into a gaming situation.
Brightly coloured variety for prosthetic limbs
The many different possibilities that are offered by 3D printing are also made use of by the 3D-Design & Produktionsagentur WAKO GmbH from Upper Austria. Founded only last year, they manufacture and market under the brand name ce:koon their prosthesis covers, which are individually designed to suit the wishes of each particular customer and are worn as an accessory. The prosthesis covers are entirely manufactured using a 3D-printing process. WAKO 3D provides extensive expertise in 3D scanning methods, data processing and the entire printing process. At the trade show the company demonstrates various opportunities of the 3D printing process with regard to design, quality and wearing comfort and shows the benefits of the technology to Prosthetics & Orthotics.
ESKA Endo-stem adapted exo-prosthetic treatment based on original work by Dr. Grundei®
ESKA Orthopaedic Handels GmbH was founded in 2015. The reason it came into being - and its specific commercial focus - is the ESKA Endo-stem adapted exo-prosthetic treatment based on original work by Dr. Grundei®. It involves direct implantation of the endo-stem into the bone of the residual limb and makes for a lasting, secure connection between the supporting bone and the exo-prosthesis. In the case of a lower extremity prosthesis, the femur and the hip joint bear the load in the way that they were anatomically designed to do. The further development of Dr. Grundei’s work has been made possible through collaborative work with specialist clinics and the use of modern materials. ESKA manufactures and markets the products required for the implantation of the prosthetic stem and the attachment module.
Mobilising joints and training muscles with the MedBoard
Founded only in January 2018 in Vienna, PHYSIOTECHNIK Schaffarik GmbH is the youngest company in the ‘Start-up Zone’. When developing the MedBoard, for which a patent is pending, founder, Gregor Schaffarik, was able to draw on his training in mechatronics and medical equipment engineering, as well as on many years of experience as a physiotherapist. MedBoard is a piece of therapeutic equipment for the lower extremities, which helps mobilise the joints in the final stages, by training the muscles in both concentric and eccentric movement. It is particularly suitable for patients following transfemoral amputation or knee replacement surgery. The muscle training can be undertaken under partial load in the early stages following an accident or in a hospital bed with post-operative patients.
The ‘Start-up Zone’ is located at the heart of the trade show in Hall 3 Stand D28.
Amongst the more than 150 new exhibitors, there will also be other German and international start-ups introducing themselves, their products and services at the trade fair, in addition to those exhibiting on the joint stand.
The International Trade Show and the World Congress OTWorld represent a unique offering for orthopaedic technicians, orthopaedic shoemakers, rehabilitation technicians, therapists and doctors, engineers, medical supplies retailers and staff of health insurance companies and healthcare funding organisations. In 2016, OTWorld attracted 21,300 visitors from 86 countries, together with 542 exhibitors from 43 nations. The steering organisation for OTWorld is the German Association of Orthopaedic Technology (Bundesinnungsverband für Orthopädie-Technik). The OTWorld brand is owned by Confairmed GmbH, who also organise the Congress. Leipziger Messe GmbH is responsible for the trade show.
Ms Karoline Nöllgen
Phone: +49 341 678 6524
Fax:: +49 341 678 166524
Pressesprecherin BIV, Bundesinnungsverband für Orthopädie-Technik
Ms Kirsten Abel
Phone: +49 231 557050-27