The 2016 AXA PPP Health Tech & You Awards have recognised the innovative ideas of three companies working with MedCity and Design Council through MedTechSouthEast – a new programme to help medtech entrepreneurs develop and commercialise products focused on independent living
Celebrating the UK’s most exciting new healthcare technology, the AXA PPP Health Tech & You Awards are a joint initiative led by AXA PPP healthcare, the thinktank 2020health and the Design Museum. It aims to guide and grow the conversation about health tech, empowering people everywhere to use technology to lead healthier lives and be more in control of their health and wellbeing.
An unobtrusive glove which assists people who suffer from debilitating hand tremors. The glove uses old gyroscopic engineering principles mixed with high tech sensors to counteract the tremors and stabilise the hand, taking the form of a minimalistic harness (the size of a watch on the back of the hand).
The product will be primarily used by older people who suffer from hand tremors which may be linked to clinical conditions. The glove provides the simple dignity of being able to eat a bowl of soup or hold a cup of tea without spilling. Research has been carried out in part with the Neurological Centre at Charing Cross Hospital, with over 100 sufferers of Parkinson’s disease and their families to see whether they would be interested in the glove as a solution.
An assistive aid to facilitate gait in vulnerable groups; primarily the elderly and people suffering with neurological conditions, such as Parkinson’s disease. Path Finder helps prevent gait disturbances that cause falls; such as freezing of gait (FoG), described as feet remaining ‘glued to the floor’, by providing visual cues designed to circumvent the issues related to existing cueing devices.
The solution is a pair of shoes with lasers at the front which project green lines ahead as the person walks, activated by a sensor in each heel that monitors the user’s walking pattern and pace. The concept is currently being clinically tested in collaboration with a university in Holland, as well as research completed with patients, their carers and scientific experts.
Path Finder is the brainchild of Imperial College London and Royal College of Art graduate Lise Pape, who says:
“People who experience freezing of gait and other unpredictable mobility challenges are already under stress, which can make the symptoms worse and adds to the fact that people with Parkinson’s often have problems with multi-tasking. So creating a product that requires too much user input, such as setting where the lines are placed, doesn’t significantly help. We needed to create something simple and intuitive for the user, removing the need for the user to carry out a specific movement.”
AAN Medical – Dermaspray
The device has an automated, no-touch design that sprays medication onto a target joint. Even users with severely limited dexterity will be able use the device, as there is no need to open packaging or apply medication by hand. Topical delivery directly to the affected joints avoids exposure of the gastrointestinal tract and consequently reduces the potential side effects for the prolonged treatment necessary for arthritis.
Dermaspray aims to enhance the quality of life for arthritis sufferers and other patients with painful joints and limited dexterity. It will improve adherence to medication regimes and reduce the number of patients requiring hospital or clinic visits for therapy.
The shortlisted companies also include StepJockey, a digital health company which raised £60k through Angels in MedCity in September 2015. StepJockey develops apps to be used in conjunction with free-to-print stairway calorie signs which feature scannable QR codes help anyone easily track their stair climbing. Through crowdsourcing, StepJockey has enabled more than 8,000 stairways in 104 countries to be ‘stair rated’, with companies and councils challenging their staff to burn more calories conveniently in the workplace through a digital gamification platform.
Congratulating the finalists, MedCity CEO Sarah Haywood said:
“MedTechSouthEast unearthed a wealth of imaginative ideas for how technology can help us preserve our quality of life as we get older or experience ill health. I’m delighted that some of the best of these ideas will get further exposure as part of Health Tech & You, alongside a range of exciting medtech products.”
The winners of the AXA PPP Health Tech & You Awards will be announced on April 25, 2016. For more information on this year’s finalists, judges and activities, visit www.healthtechandyou.com