Open Bionics, a company in Downing LLP’s Healthcare Ventures portfolio, is supplying two Ukrainian soldiers with its new ‘Hero Arm’ - a 3D-printed prosthesis made by the Bristol-based tech company.
Andrii Gidzun and Vitalii Ivashchuk tested the arm recently in Munich. It has moveable fingers and thumbs that allow the user to pinch and grasp objects and is controlled by sensors that are activated by muscles in the forearm.
Gidzun and Ivashchuk will be the first two soldiers to receive ‘Hero Arms’ after both received mine-explosive injuries to their hands that resulted in amputations last year.
"It's a very cool feeling. I cannot describe it,” said Ivashchuk, 24, after a day of testing the technology.
Joel Gibbard, Co-founder and CEO, Open Bionics: “It's not just about function. It's very much about mental health and psychological impact as well.”
He says the ‘Hero Arms’ carry a “message of empowerment” that aims to make wounded war veterans as comfortable as possible throughout their rehabilitation.
Will Brooks, Investment Director, Downing Healthcare Ventures: “It’s a fantastic initiative Open Bionics has embarked on. The team’s ethos has been clear to see since we first invested in 2017, so it comes as no surprise that they are supporting war veterans in this way. We look forward to continuing to support Open Bionics in both its impact initiatives and business growth.”