Latest News

Touch Bionics expands U.S. presence

Boston, MA and Livingston, Scotland: Touch Bionics, developer of the world's first commercially available bionic hand, today announced its incorporation in the United States as Touch Bionics, Inc. Currently basing U.S. operations out of Boston, MA, this announcement follows the company's opening of its new headquarters and leading-edge development and manufacturing facility in the United Kingdom earlier this month.

"Having a stronger U.S. presence enables Touch Bionics to better serve its growing network of partner clinics in America, the company's biggest market," said Touch Bionics CEO Stuart Mead. "With more U.S. clinics offering the i-LIMB Hand, growing numbers of American amputees will have the option of being fitted with the most advanced prosthetic hand on the market. The fact that we're at the top end of our sales projections shows there is a ready market for our product."

Since the launch of the i-LIMB Hand in July 2007, more than 70 patients worldwide have been fitted, and the company anticipates reaching the milestone of 100 fitted patients by the end of February 2008. In order to serve the prosthetics market worldwide, Touch Bionics has built relationships with a wide range of clinical companies, from the world's largest to smaller, independent clinics, both ends of the scale represent important areas of business for the company.

"My experience working with Touch Bionics has been that the company is very credible, reliable and responsive and that the company's primary interest is patient care," said Jake Wood, C.P., F.A.A.O.P, certified prosthetist and co-owner at Orthotics and Prosthetics Associates, Inc. in Milwaukee, WI. "I am so appreciative of what they have made available for my patients. Touch Bionics technology allows me to do my job better, providing patients with a solution that enhances and improves their day-to-day lives. Due to the anthropomorphic, dexterity and functional capabilities of the i-LIMB Hand, it's in a league of its own, technology-wise.

"This is the first time in my 30 years in the prosthetics business that I felt I was truly delivering an arm to the patient," continued Wood. "I never thought in my lifetime that I would ever see this technology."

In addition to the developments in the U.S., Touch Bionics has also now cemented European partnerships with clinics and distributors in Germany, Turkey, Hungary, Romania and the Benelux region, with more global partners signing up in countries such as South Korea, Argentina and Brazil. In the space of just six months, global market perception of the i-LIMB Hand has evolved from exciting new technology to a widely accepted clinical option.

Partner prosthetic clinics have commented on not only the technology, but the positive experience of working with Touch Bionics and being involved with the i-LIMB Hand at an early commercial stage.

"With all five digits powered, the i-LIMB Hand represents a significant improvement in a functional electronic prosthetic hand," said Mike Hillbom, Upper Extremity Specialist at Pros-Tech, a Southeastern Michigan company. "The Touch Bionics team has been very helpful and thanks to their responsiveness, early technical questions that we had about the product were answered within mere minutes."

Patients and prosthetists alike marvel at the technology leap represented by the i-LIMB Hand, the first advanced prosthetic hand to have each individual finger powered by its own motor, facilitating multiple advanced grip patterns, more like that of a human hand.

"It is so much more like a real hand than anything else currently available," said Bob Leimkuehler, CPO of Leimkuehler, Inc., a prosthetic provider in the greater Cleveland area that runs three locations in northeast Ohio. "The new technology is so improved over anything in the past, one of the biggest improvements in prosthetics that I have seen in over 30 years. Having so many different grip possibilities is unbelievable. All my patients can't wait to get the i-LIMB Hand."

After a successful training road show in December, the company has now trained and certified over 125 practitioners on the i-LIMB Hand worldwide. To respond to the demand for training, the company has announced additional training sessions for three major U.S. markets, including, Atlanta, GA, March 31; Chicago, IL, April 2 and San Diego, CA, April 4.

The one-day training session for registered prosthetists will cover clinical background, patient selection, fitting, patient training, service and support. Participants in the program will receive certification from Touch Bionics as an Accredited i-LIMB Hand Practitioner. The course fee is $350. Access more information or Register.

Touch Bionics will be participating in a number of prosthetic and orthotic conferences and trade shows globally in the year ahead, to continue to build awareness and understanding of the i-LIMB Hand amongst the surgical, medical insurance and prosthetic practitioner communities.

The next U.S. event for the company is the American Academy of Orthotists & Prosthetists Annual Academy meeting, taking place at the Caribe Royale Resort in Orlando, Florida from February 27 through March 1. The company will be exhibiting its i-LIMB system on the exhibit floor in the Grand Sierra Ballroom in booth 1117. A workshop presented by Touch Bionics entitled "Bionic Upper Limb Technology Made Easy," workshop Number 32, will take place on February 27, between 1:30pm and 5:30pm in the Caribe Royale Convention Center. This workshop addresses the key facts prosthetists need in order to offer bionic technology from their practices and transform the lives of upper limb patients.

About Touch Bionics

Touch Bionics is a leading developer of advanced upper-limb prosthetics. The history of Touch Bionics began in 1963 with a program of work conducted at the Princess Margaret Rose Hospital in Edinburgh, starting with comprehensive research into developing prosthetic solutions for children affected by Thalidomide. In early 2003, the company was spun out from the National Health Service, with significant shareholding held by Scottish Health Innovations Ltd. In 2007, Touch Bionics brought to market the i-LIMB Hand, a first-to-market prosthetic device with five individually powered digits. The company continues to develop leading edge technologies for the treatment of patients with upper-limb deficiencies.

Media and analysts contact:

  • Linda Forrest
  • inmedia Public Relations Inc.
  • Tel: +1 613 234 7227 x234
  • Email: [email protected]