JR TeCH is working to improve the process of matching prosthetics to lower limb amputees by capturing and assessing functional movement and user feedback through their eMotionGait technology.
What drew you to the problem you are working to solve in Biodesign?
We started from observations in orthopedic clinical placements and knowledge of physiotherapy practice in general, noting that there was often a lack of accurate measurement and distinct subjectivity when assessing joints and human movement – particularly over significant rehabilitation periods. The tools that did exist were too expensive or impractical to use in a clinical setting, so descriptions and objective “guestimates” are often used by clinicians as default. This practice is very wide ranging, each with slightly different needs, so we focused in on the specific application of prosthesis fit and adjustment, which has significantly different outcomes for patients if not prescribed and adjusted well, and often leads to significant cost wastage due to prosthesis abandonment.
What have you learned/gained from the Biodesign process?
The course allows you to enter clinical fields where you have little knowledge and to look with an entrepreneurial mindset at obvious problems or difficulties the clinical team are having. Using design thinking and collaborative team work, you are then taken through the pathways of staged prototyping and guided towards a business and commercialisation plan. The networks built with professionals and mentors from all sectors (patent attorneys, regulatory affairs, business, accounting) is outstanding and will continue long after the course has finished.
Back row: Business mentor John Hoddinott, Tim McLennan, Caroline Chapman, James Charleson.
Front row: Ronan O’Neill and alumni mentors Chiara Giovanrosa and James Chen
What are the next steps for the team/team members after the course?
Who knows? So many possibilities. Our product might get traction and head full steam down the implementation phase. We certainly will be applying for funding to try. Independent of that outcome, everyone in the team are interested in creating solutions to make the world a better place for people in need. Some of us have enrolled in further courses already with the MedTech innovation bug biting hard…
What do you want to be doing 10 years from now?
Still helping make the world a better place and ideally with prototype 2 being launched from our MedTech company!
What would be your advice to someone considering taking the course in 2019?
Make sure you come with an open mind and plenty of time and energy. There is so much to learn and so many opportunities to get involved.
Tim is a Rehabilitation Engineer currently working at the State Rehab Service at Fiona Stanley Hospital within the Communication and Assistive Technology Service (CATS). He is involved with patient assessment, device prescription and custom development of Assistive Technology for adults with an acquired injury or illness that impairs their speech and/or physical abilities.
Ronan is a graduate of the UWA Master of Biotechnology specialising in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, as well as a Bachelor of Science double degree in Pharmacology and Biochemistry. He is the founder and editor of a popular science column with Perth pop culture curators Isolated Nation, publishing interesting, relevant, and accessible science-related articles.
Hayley is the Laboratory Manager and Research Officer in the Brain Growth and Disease Laboratory. She researches new genetic brain diseases, and was co-first author of a publication outlining a previously undiscovered rare childhood disease. In addition, she is keen to get more involved in bridging the gap from “bench to bedside”.
With a PhD from The Beatson Institute in Glasgow, and an MBA from Curtin University, Caroline Chapman is a Research Development Advisor in Medical Sciences at ECU where she brings together her passion for medical research and her interest in supporting researchers to develop not only their careers but the impact of their research.
James is a final year medical student at the University of Notre Dame. Following a year at the Rural Clinical School and placements in the Kimberley, James joined the program to develop his entrepreneurial skills and expand his network with the aim of improving medical outcomes for Australians, especially those in rural and remote settings.