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Start-up receives fresh funding to advance robotic glove for rehabilitation

Bioliberty, a medtech start-up which has created a soft robotic glove to help rehabilitate stroke patients, has received almost half a million pounds of new funding to accelerate its product to market.

Bioliberty has secured a £435,000 project from the Biomedical Catalyst, Innovate UK’s flagship grant funding mechanism. The scheme is designed to transform innovative ideas into commercially viable businesses.

The Edinburgh-based company’s robotic glove works by assisting a patient to open and close their hand, an action which can be severely limited following a stroke. Developed in collaboration with physiotherapists, occupational therapists, and clinicians, the glove has built-in sensors that allows it to vary levels of resistance to tailor rehabilitation exercises to the user. This new Innovate UK funding will go towards developing the machine learning and data collection elements of the product.

Bioliberty is a tenant at the National Robotarium, a facility which works collaboratively with partners around the globe to define, develop and resolve industry challenges through the application of robotics and AI. Bioliberty benefits from the National Robotarium’s incubation facilities, state-of-the-art labs, and engineering expertise.

The National Robotarium is part of the Data-Driven Innovation initiative, supported by £21 million from the UK Government and £1.4 million from the Scottish Government. The initiative aims to turn Edinburgh into the data capital of Europe and is part of the wider £1.3 billion Edinburgh and South-East Scotland City Region Deal.

Statistics from the UK’s Stroke Association state that someone has a stroke every five minutes in this country affecting 100,000 people every year. It’s estimated that 1.3 million people in the UK have had a stroke with many requiring ongoing therapy to recover from the symptoms.

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