Millions of people worldwide rely on orthoses or prostheses in their everyday lives. However, producing a precise fit is not only expensive but time consuming. Delft-based Manometric has found a solution to these challenges by developing an innovative 3D scanner with an automated 3D printing process that creates custom braces to exact specifications. This rapid production method reduces manufacturing time from five hours to five minutes. To help strengthen its team and scale up this unique technology, Manometric has secured a capital injection from NextGen Ventures and InnovationQuarter.
The quality of life of patients suffering from conditions such as rheumatism and osteoarthritis is greatly improved by using orthoses or prostheses. A brace relieves pain, provides support and affords the wearer greater freedom. Currently, the production of orthoses is labour intensive and expensive and often results in dissatisfied patients due to the suboptimal fit and aesthetics of the end product. Manometric’s disruptive 3D technology solves these problems and is the first to offer a total solution by rapidly and precisely printing a personalised brace with a strong focus on comfort, functionality and design.
Collaboration with health insurance providers and hospitals
Due to the added value the technology has for both patients and medical specialists, most Dutch health insurance providers are currently working with Manometric to ensure its products become available nationwide. The innovative technology delivers on ease of use and time efficiency because, unlike the traditional measuring and production process, patients no longer have to return to hospital for multiple fittings. They also appreciate the design and comfort of the products: in a recent clinical trial by the Reinier de Graaf Hospital, results indicated higher patient satisfaction and therapy compliance compared with traditional braces.
Available nationwide, scanned in your region
With the investment from NextGen and InnovationQuarter, Manometric aims to develop new orthoses and bolster its sales and marketing team. But the start-up’s primary goal is the national roll-out of the scanning technology to enable patients throughout the Netherlands to be scanned locally. Although currently focusing on hand and arm conditions, the company will eventually develop innovative orthoses for the rest of the body.
Pieter Smakman, founder and CEO of Manometric:
“We are incredibly pleased with the new investors and share the same ambition. From the very first meetings we have had good conversations about strategy, products and people. We cannot wait to put this investment to use and make our revolutionary products – designed from a blank sheet with only one interest in mind: the user – accessible to everyone throughout the Netherlands.”
Manometric, established at tech incubator YES!Delft, was founded in 2017 by Pieter Smakman and Robin Jones, both industrial design engineering (MSc) graduates from TU Delft. The company has grown to a team of 14 and includes orthopaedic technologists, industrial designers and software engineers. A previous investment round secured funding from ReumaNederland, proof-of-concept fund UNIIQ and Rabobank.
Peter Haasjes, investment director at NextGen Ventures:
“NextGen Ventures invests in businesses that improve healthcare and contribute to lowering healthcare costs. Manometric is a perfect example of this. With its unique 3D scanner and printing technology, the company has shown that the production of orthoses and prostheses can be improved and made more efficient. We were quick to recognise this innovation as a decisive breakthrough in this discipline.”
Kees Recourt, senior investment manager at InnovationQuarter:
“As life-cycle financiers, we are delighted to support Manometric with the development and commercial roll-out of its innovative platform for 3D printed hand and wrist braces. Arthritis patients with a variety of conditions will soon benefit from orthoses that fit perfectly, resulting in a significant improvement in the quality of life for an enormous number of patients.”
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