Open Bionics has recently launched their first clinic in the UK to deliver 3D printed bionic arms for amputees. The clinic was amongst the top 4% of companies in the country to receive a grant under UK’s Strategic Innovation Fund aimed at building UK resilience following the coronavirus outbreak. It enabled Open Bionics to switch from being a prosthetics manufacturer to a clinical provider.
Based in Bristol, the new clinic is based in the Open Bionics HQ where the company’s life-changing product, the Hero Arm, is made for individuals with below-elbow limb differences. Since the clinic launch, the company has experienced an influx of patients travelling from all around the UK to have access to the life-changing bionic technology.
“My Open Bionics clinical experience has been really amazing. The first time I picked up a ball with my Hero Arm and I held it and dropped it, it felt like having a superpower.” – Caroline
One of the first patients to receive medical care at the clinic was Caroline Coster, a COVID-19 survivor. Caroline also suffered from viral sepsis as a result of catching the virus, requiring her to undergo a quadruple amputation.
Caroline spoke about getting her Hero Arm fitting at the Open Bionics Clinic “My Open Bionics clinical experience has been really amazing. The first time I picked up a ball with my Hero Arm and I held it and dropped it, it felt like having a superpower.”
“Having the technical and clinical expertise as part of the prosthesis fitting process was really incredible as I was able to see how the Hero Arm could be customised to meet my personal needs.”
Using new technologies such as 3D scanning, 3D modelling, automation, and 3D printing, the Open Bionics clinic is the first clinic in the UK to only offer 3D printed sockets. These are a critical part that ensures a prosthesis like the Hero Arm fits like a glove and offers optimal comfort.
Despite launching a new venture during COVID-19, co-founder Joel Gibbard MBE says excellence in customer care is the top priority “While COVID-19 forced our business and community into uncharted territory, we’ve always listened to the needs of our customers. The idea to serve customers directly came from our community who wanted technical information about the product included as part of their clinical experience.”
Since launching, the clinic has fitted bionic arms for adults and children from as young as eight years old with below-elbow limb differences, Simon Edmonds, Deputy Executive Chair and Chief Business Officer, Innovate UK commented “During the pandemic innovation in Britain did not stop. At Innovate UK we have been helping businesses and people through the pandemic. Nowhere demonstrates this more than at Open Bionics. The work they do every day brings hope and help to those who need prosthetic arms. Not only are Open Bionics transforming lives, they are also creating new jobs and driving economic growth.”