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steptics – “Enabling maximum mobility”

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Steptics combines automated fiber composite manufacturing with prosthetic technologies and wants to use the resulting cost advantage to create accessibility for maximum mobility for amputees. Launched in the summer of 2020, they decided to no longer utilize the enormous potential of fiber composite materials for enhancing the performance of the next sports car, but rather for the development and production of foot prostheses. We speak with Steptics about their startup.

 

What was the spark behind your startup?
The initial spark for Steptics was the realization that the majority of people with lower limb amputations do not have access to high-quality fiber-reinforced foot prostheses due to their high cost. These high costs resulted from complex, manual manufacturing processes of such foot prostheses. At the same time, Daniel and I were working in the automotive industry, where fiber-reinforced components were being manufactured using automated and cost-saving processes. We wanted to transfer these technological concepts to the world of prosthetics and founded Steptics. Our foot prostheses are based on an innovative, automated, and patented manufacturing process. This enables us to produce prostheses on an industrial scale while drastically reducing manufacturing costs. Initially, we aim to offer a foot prosthesis that is not reimbursed by health insurance even in the German market; it is a running blade. Subsequently, the technology behind it is to be transferred to an entire collection. One of the biggest challenges is to automate the production of running blades without compromising on quality and customization. Additionally, we must ensure that our prostheses meet strict medical requirements and certifications.

How does your innovation help individuals (doctors, nurses, patients) in the healthcare system?
Our innovation aims to support doctors, nurses, and above all, patients in the healthcare system worldwide by providing high-quality prostheses at affordable prices. Doctors can offer their patients a wider range of care options without compromising on quality. For patients, our innovation significantly improves their quality of life by giving them access to prostheses that meet their individual needs and allow them maximum mobility.

How have you been financed so far, and what business model do you plan to use to generate revenue in the future?
Our funding to date has primarily come from funding programs and revenue from feasibility studies with pilot customers. Our business model involves initially collaborating with established prosthetic manufacturers while concurrently developing and distributing our own models. By expanding into new markets, especially in emerging and developing countries, we aim to achieve sustainable and profitable growth.

Finally, a brief outlook: How do you plan to continue with your product and your innovations in the coming years? Do you already have other products in the pipeline?
In the coming years, we would like to further improve our prostheses and develop new products. Our aim is to give more and more people access to high-performance foot prostheses and thus a path to maximum individual mobility.

How has the feedback from your customers been so far? Are there any motor differences compared to other prostheses?
We are on the verge of starting intensive customer tests both with our own sports prosthesis and in customer projects. We are eagerly awaiting our customers’ feedback. Preliminary tests have already shown that our running blades exhibits very good walking characteristics.

 

Source: https://arztundkarriere.com/digitale-pioniere/steptics-maximale-mobilitaet-ermoeglichen/

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