A Birmingham-based firm which has developed a technology that helps improve how prosthetic legs are fitted has appointed a new chairman ahead of its US launch.

Stuart Mead’s appointment by Adapttech follows the decision by the United States Food and Drug Administration to approve its technology as  a Class I medical device.

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.

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

Mead said:  “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.

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

The laser scanner creates a 3D model of the socket in less than 90 seconds; then the wearable device uses sensors to gather real-time data between the residual limb and the socket to pinpoint exactly where issues are occurring; finally the mobile app shows the clinician where issues are occurring in the 3D model, and also allows results to be registered and assessed at any time and in any place.

Peter Dines, COO and head of life sciences and biosciences at Adapttech’s lead investor, Mercia Asset Management, said: “As the company moves into its commercialisation 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.”

Adapttech’s founder Frederico Carpinteiro said: “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.”

In 2018, the company closed a €2M investment round with Mercia Asset Management as lead investor and Hovione Capital as follow-on.