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Birmingham biomedical startup appoints Chairman

New Chairman, Stuart Mead

Prosthetic technology firm Adapttech has appointed Stuart Mead as Chairman ahead of the commercial launch of its INSIGHT product, which improves the fitting of prosthetic limbs.

Mead is the former CEO of Touch Bionics, the company that created the world’s first bionic hand, and has been appointed for his insight and leadership in the prosthetics sector. Touch Bionics was acquired by prosthetics giant Össur in 2016.

The company’s INSIGHT system, which has already undergone successful user testing in Europe, is now being used in a patient study at two prosthetic clinics in the United States ahead of its commercial launch later this year.

Adapttech’s unique technology has also been granted a decision as a Class I medical device by the United States Food and Drug Administration.

“Securing the FDA’s decision on INSIGHT is a key business milestone for Adapttech and we are now fully focused on launching in the U.S. market this year,” said Mead. “Our technology is proven, we have the team in place to support it, and we are ready to transform the way that prostheses are fitted.”

Mead has more than 30 years’ experience in technology industries and is experienced in sales and marketing.  In addition to Touch Bionics, he has also been CEO of 3D scanning firm Fuel3D and biopharmaceuticals manufacturer Excell Biotech, and held senior management positions at both Kodak Clinical Diagnostics and Johnson & Johnson.

“We are delighted to welcome Stuart to the Adapttech team,” said Peter Dines, COO and Head of Life Sciences & Biosciences at Adapttech’s lead investor, Mercia Asset Management. “As the company moves into its commercialization phase, we wanted to find a business leader with specific expertise in the prosthetics sector, and there are very few people in the world who are as well-qualified as Stuart for this role.”

Collecting data from the socket using the INSIGHT app

INSIGHT combines laser scanning, wearable technology and a mobile app to make it faster and easier to correctly fit a lower-limb prosthesis and monitor a patient’s entire rehabilitation process.

“When fitting a lower limb prosthesis, it can take weeks to achieve a final, properly-fit solution, with several appointments often required, which is inconvenient for the patient and clinician alike,” said Frederico Carpinteiro, co-founder of Adapttech. “Using INSIGHT, clinicians spend less time attending to patients with limb-socket problems; technicians spend less time fitting, assessing and refitting sockets; and patients spend less time visiting and re-visiting the clinic. INSIGHT has the potential to help prosthetic facilities improve their patients’ lower limb functional mobility scores, which can help them access better prostheses from their healthcare provider.”

The completed European study demonstrated that INSIGHT reduced the time taken for fitting and patient evaluation when fitting sockets. The U.S. study is using clinically recognized tests and validated scales for health, function, satisfaction and pain level, and is running at two independent clinics: De La Torre Orthotics and Prosthetics in Pittsburgh, PA, and Prosthetics & Orthotic Associates in Middletown, NY.