Ireland-UK, Innovation, 2020, EIT Health Ireland-UK

Roliner – A game-changing adaptive wearable

17th March 2020

Our bodies change shape throughout the day and most of us hardly even notice it because wear flexible clothes that adapt to our shape. But for those who have lost a limb the changing nature of our bodies can cause extreme discomfort and pain as their prosthetic fittings don’t change with it. Poor fitting of the prosthetic leads to painful sores which can leave amputees in wheelchairs for weeks.

Roliner is an adaptive wearable that aims to bring comfort to prosthetic limbs and other wearables. It is an AI-controlled, adaptive robotics technology, that understands the daily changes in our body and adapts to them. Taking the form of a sleeve worn on the leg, Roliner enables amputees to control their prosthetic fitting via their mobile phones. The users personal fitting preferences are learnt by the AI which then adjusts automatically for them.

This is a massive change from the current system, where amputees are dependent on clinics for these changes, and instead this innovative wearable enables the user to control their own comfort.

“Roliner is introducing a new paradigm in the way it is made. We are pleased to see that people already started to notice Roliner’s impact, not only how much it is going to change lives of millions, but also the sophisticated way it uses the basic principles”, says Ugur Tanriverdi, Lead innovator and CEO of Unhindr who have designed the device.

“What the Roliner team is developing today is going to be an eye-opener and a milestone in wearable medical devices and robotics.”

As part of EIT Health’s Innovation portfolio, the Roliner project has combined academia (Imperial College London), science (GE Healthcare) and industry (CapDigital) with great success. So far, they have:

  • filed 3 patents,
  • published a conference abstract,
  • educated 6 master’s students and 1 PhD student
  • won 5 prestigious business and science awards,
  • developed 2 clinical partnerships in the UK and Germany,
  • built a case study with Royal Society of Medicine
  • currently developing a manufacturing case study with a top-class factory to influence the medical industry.

The team working on the innovation is now 19 people strong and has already established strategic partnerships with research institutions, manufacturing centres, university hospitals and clinics in 5 countries while reached out more than 500 citizens, patients, end-users across the EU.

In fact, the project has been so successful that it expects it will spin out 3 start-ups using its patent-pending technology, Unhindr being the first.

The project has so far received €612,500.00 from EIT Health enabling Roliner’s team to bring this life changing innovation to life.

Talking about the support from EIT Health, Tanriverdi said: “Before EIT-Health, we had a proof of concept, which demonstrated the principle, but it wasn’t a “wearable” device because it was big. We needed a team that would have the expertise to improve it. With the work packages carefully designed by our EIT Health consortium, that proof of concept now fits into the palm of our hands. It is already at a commercial device standard, beyond a prototype.

“Since Innovation by Ideas is such a generous funding scheme within the EIT-H portfolio, we had the financial confidence as well as the expert team. We built our advisory board coming from 3 countries and have collaborators and partnerships in 5 countries. We are now getting ready for our clinical trials in the UK and having discussions with a university hospital clinic in Germany.”

The success of the project has not gone unnoticed with Roliner receiving numerous awards, such as:

  • Best Student Talk, BioMedEng Committee (Sept 2018)
  • Company of the month, Med-City (April 2019)
  • Most Investible Start-up for Venture Capitals, London Digital Health Forum (November 2018)
  • People’s Choice | Best Pitch Award, London Digital Health Forum (November 2018)
  • London Region Innovation Award, SEHTA UK Business Awards (February 2020)

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