The startup Cambridge Bio-Augmentation System aim to standardize the interface between an amputated stump and any prosthetic, to diversify the prosthetics available to patients and make them more affordable. The company is patenting an integrated medical device that provide the interface between the prosthetic and the body, designed to be implanted at the point of surgery. Their vision is that when patients wake up from surgery, they will be able to connect any prosthetic immediately. This will allow the patient to have their choice of ‘plug and play’ prosthetics made by a variety of manufacturers, or even have the possibility to produce their own. They aim to support everything from 3-D printed prostheses to commercial devices, even from non-medical manufacturers.
Oliver Armitage and Emil Hewage, two Cambridge University PhD students specializing in Biomaterials, Machine Learning and Neuroscience, founded the company in 2015. The disruptive technology, potentially converting the prosthetic industry to a plug and play model, allow prostheses manufacturers to sell directly to amputees, allowing more people to afford and access high-functionality prostheses. A global industry standard will decrease the costs of amputee care for healthcare providers and provide patients with faster recovery times and greater functionality, ultimately increasing quality of life.
Despite only being founded in 2015, the company has attracted much attention and support from startup accelerators. Cambridge Bio-Augmentation System won the Mass Challenge 2015, joined the FOUNDER.org Class of 2016 accelerator program, and is also collaborating with Cisco. Although clinical trials are still a few years away, and full regulatory approval could take up to 10 years, the prosthetic industry could be on the verge of significant changes.