“Smart Suit” project featured on BBC News
Tuesday 28th February 2023
NIHR CYP MedTech are supporting a project led by the charity Duchenne UK that was featured in the national news today, aiming to help children living with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.
Duchenne UK and project partners were successful in an application for a £1m+ grant from the People’s Postcode Lottery Dream Fund to develop a smart suit that can provide upper limb assistance to children with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy or Spinal Muscular Atrophy. Today’s news has featured the project as we reached the stage of children with Duchenne trying on an early prototype and providing critical feedback as to how we can design something much better that they would be happy and comfortable to wear to support their everyday living.
Founder of Duchenne UK, and mum of Eli who lives with the condition, Emily Reuben said “When Eli loses the use of his arms, and his upper body strength, there is nothing for him and really that’s the most devastating part of the disease – not being able to feed yourself, not being able to brush your teeth, to give your mum a hug, put your hands up in class – they’re the small things in life but really they are the big things.”
The team at Duchenne UK selected various expert partners to support them to develop and commercialise a suitable Smart Suit to provide active upper limb support to these children, helping them to live more independent lives. NIHR CYP MedTech are working closely with Medipex and the NIHR Devices for Dignity Medtech Co-operative to define market opportunities and to map out the ideal route to market for the suit, and explore mechanisms to make it available to as many children with the condition as possible. Medipex are also leading on the intellectual property strategy for the project, working with the design team at PA Consulting Ltd, and past collaborators, to help ensure that there is freedom to operate.