Innovate UK-funded bionic tech clinic opens in UK for amputees

Joel Gibbard CEO and Samantha Payne COO of Open Bionics. Credit: Open Bionics.

Innovate UK-funded Open Bionics launches its first clinic in the UK to deliver 3D printed bionic arms for amputees.

The clinic received a grant under Innovate UK’s Sustainable Innovation Fund aimed at building UK resilience following the coronavirus outbreak. It enabled Open Bionics to switch from being a manufacturer of bionic limbs to a clinical provider.

Based in Bristol, the new clinic produces the Hero Arm, the company’s life-changing product 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.

Bionic arms for limb differences

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.

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 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. Since launching, the clinic has fitted bionic arms for adults and children from as young as eight years old with below-elbow limb differences.

Open Bionics is on a mission to support individuals to turn their disabilities into superpowers. Upper limb amputees interested in getting a Hero Arm at the clinic can register to book an appointment and view full pricing on the Open Bionics website.

Creating jobs, transforming lives

Caroline Coster said:

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.

Simon Edmonds, Deputy Executive Chair and Chief Business Officer, Innovate UK said:

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.

Open Bionics co-founder Joel Gibbard MBE said:

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.

About Open Bionics

Open Bionics was founded in 2014 by Joel Gibbard MBE and Samantha Payne MBE with the goal of developing affordable, assistive devices that enhance the human body. In other words, Open Bionics turns disabilities into superpowers.

The Bristol-based bionics company is known globally for using 3D printing and 3D scanning to make advanced, affordable and accessible bionic limbs. In October 2020, Open Bionics launched the latest version of its Hero Arm, bringing greater reliability, comfort and quality to their flagship product, with upgrades that include robust laser-sintered frames, innovative socket technology, and new magnetic covers. Children and adults with below-elbow limb differences can register interest on the Open Bionics website.

To support democratisation of prosthetic limbs, Open Bionics have launched their first clinic in the UK to offer an optimal blend of technical and clinical expertise. All products and services have been purposefully transparently priced to ensure the technology can be accessible for individuals with below-elbow limb differences regardless of their financial status.

Source: UK Research and Innovation.

Launched in April 2018, UKRI is a non-departmental public body sponsored by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS). They bring together the seven disciplinary research councils, Research England, which is responsible for supporting research and knowledge exchange at higher education institutions in England, and the UK’s innovation agency, Innovate UK. For more details go to:


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