Mobility is a basic human right. To such an extent that any accident, injury, or illness restricting our capacity to move, renders us “dis-abled”.
Today, there are an estimated 10 million people worldwide living with the loss of a leg, for whom the cornerstone of mobility is their prosthesis. Sadly, even in developed countries, it is not uncommon for prosthetic users to be provided with a prosthetic leg composed of some standardised components that can cause great pain and widely impair their mobility. Indeed, a properly fitting prosthesis is of the uttermost importance in order to avoid pressure points and friction, which are known to cause inflammations and ulcers.
One of the main components of the prosthesis is the liner, a silicone sock worn between the leg and the hard socket shell in which patients insert their residual limb. Liners damp the shocks of walking and distribute the pressure on the surface of the limb. Through these functions, liners play a crucial role in the overall comfort and mobility that patients.
Our unprecedented manufacturing process allows for the creation tailored liners based on a 3D scan of the shape of the limb. Thanks to our patent-pending silicone 3D printing technology, we open the door to a new era of easily accessible and affordable perfect-fit tailored liners.
Our first market exploration and pilot tests have shown tremendous hopes and expectations around the groundbreaking possibilities that this technology enables. The present project helped us bring our solution to market, and enhance our service based on customer feedback. Iteratively, the solution was improved until the point where it was successfully launched on several EU markets.
Our long term vision is to drive a paradigm shift from mass production to mass customisation in the orthopaedic industry, in order to enable everyone to enjoy the most comfortable devices possible at an affordable price. This truly represents bringing tomorrow’s mobility solutions... today!
What is special about the project?
Our project brings innovation on two main fronts: technology, and business model.
On the technological front, today, there is no method able to 3D print orthopaedic-grade silicone. Our 3D printing technology is therefore a first of its kind. Furthermore, if this technology is particularly adapted for the production of prosthetic liners, there are multiple applications (such as orthopaedic insoles, pressure therapy garments, orthoses and many more) that could be envisioned. This technological innovation therefore holds the potential to disrupt several fields within the orthopaedic industry.
Our vision, to democratise tailored liners, takes a bold and ambitious approach compared to the business model of our competitors. Indeed, our competitors try to provide a plurality of off-the- shelf models to match as much as possible the various shapes of the patients' residual limbs. We implement on-demand manufacturing, which means that we have no inventory and use a "smart factory” organisation. The internal organisation we envision is therefore be poles apart from the internal organisation of our competitors. This also brings along a new competitive positioning where the “Your™ Liner” brand (registered Trademark of Swiss Motion Technologies SA) revolving on the tailor-made, the personal comfort and the data digitalisation. We take the mass- customisation approach, as opposed to the mass production model of our competitors.
Finally, our method is the first digital method for tailored liner manufacturing. There is extensive scientific evidence suggesting that customising a liner to its bearer would greatly increase his comfort. However, due to today's absence of digital-based method for tailored liner manufacturing, there is a world of opportunities to explore how customisation can improve the clinical outcomes for prosthetic patients. Through the expertise and data we will build along the way, we are ideally positioned to shape the future of prosthetic fittings through ground-breaking liner 3D modelling tools.
Before the start of the project, in April 2019, we had already made some proofs of concepts by fitting a few patients. However, for a mass-customisation service like the one we are proposing, only meeting real world challenges could help us in understanding the limits that our technology would face in the real world. The present project was therefore key for accelerating our market entry, as it gave us the possibility of going in the field, finding out the limits of our technology, and conducting the crucial R&D efforts required for our products to be successful upon market entry. These iterations proved very successful, as shown by the late booming of our sales at the international level. Indeed, we now have equipped over 250 patients around all Europe with our solution! This is a great result and we hope we can continue to positively impact the life of people suffering from limb loss.
Furthermore, prior to Innobooster, despite investing time and energy into it, our fundraising efforts had never been successful. We struggled catching the interest of investors, as we were still too under-developed. Thanks to Innobooster, we were able to secure a 1.2MCHF seed round. Innobooster was therefore instrumental to enable us to cross the “Valley of Death”, and it is likely that we would not have been able to reach point without Gebert Rüf Stiftung’s support.
Once more, we would like to thank the Gebert Rüf Stiftung for its support and the successes enabled by its dedication to enabling deep tech start-ups to become successful on their markets.
With secured funding, an established customer base and with recurring sales, we’re now looking at focusing our efforts on accelerating our international sales efforts, developing world-class marketing, and scaling our production infrastructures to be able to answer the rapidly increasing demand. Last year (2020), we did around 250’000 CHF of turnover and we are growing approximately at 13% per month. This is a great result for us, and shows how beneficial our solution can be for people around the world.
Persons involved in the project
Last update to this project presentation 22.02.2021