Emma Scowen: Introducing Tectus®

Posted on 09 April 2024

"It's a Breakthrough in KAFO Technology..."

Emma Scowen - Blatchford Product ManagerEmma Scowen
Blatchford Product Manager

In a recent interview with Blatchford's Product Manager, Emma Scowen, we delved into the innovative world of assistive technology, mainly focusing on the groundbreaking Tectus® orthotic device. Tectus® is a revolutionary microprocessor technology that allows people with impaired mobility due to partial paralysis in their lower limbs to regain their mobility and walk again. It is a beacon of hope for countless patients worldwide.

Addressing a Critical Need

Emma spoke of the need for Tectus® because of the pressing need it addresses. "We recognise that lower limb paralysis affects a significant group of patients," she remarked. Many people have been left with lower limb paralysis due to spinal injuries or muscle weakness due to neurological conditions or orthopaedic injuries, they are unable to walk without aids or, worse still, they need a wheelchair. The current range of products isn't adequately meeting this group's needs."

Emma emphasised the slow progress in developing solutions for this demographic, primarily due to inadequate reimbursement structures. "I think one of the main reasons has been that reimbursement just hasn't been readily available," Emma noted. "But the need and the size of this market is huge."

A Journey of Innovation

The journey from conceptualisation to market launch wasn't without its challenges. The development has taken over three years, but in 2023, Blatchford started introducing Tectus® in the regions where they had a clinical presence, e.g. Norway and the UK. Subsequent launches have since occurred in Germany and the USA, yielding overwhelming demand and surpassing even the most optimistic projections.

The future for Tectus® will see continual product evolution and expansion into other markets.

“"We expect that for the short term, we will continue to focus on Germany, America, the UK and Scandinavia," she stated. "But in the future, we will expand to other markets."”

Understanding Tectus® Requirements

We recognise that many people will be interested to understand if Tectus will work for them. There is a wide range of conditions that Tectus® can support, and the first step is to be assessed by a certified clinic.

"Once you've been assessed, the next steps vary based on where you are," Emma explained gently. "You might begin by trying the evaluation brace during your clinic visit. This helps you get a feel for Tectus® firsthand. Then, there could be a trial period to see how well it works for you. But remember, this process takes time—usually a few weeks—to make sure everything is just right for you." Anyone leaving the clinic with a Tectus® must undergo training and physio to allow them to make the most out of their newfound mobility.

Enhanced Control with Fob Integration

Safety and control have been designed into every part of Tectus®. Blatchford has designed the Tectus® with a user-controlled remote control. This compact device allows wearers to select the activity mode of operation effortlessly. There are five modes: Walk, Sit, Stairs, Lock and Free. "With the remote control, users can quickly select the mode that suits their needs," Emma explained. "It's about giving them the control."

Whether navigating crowded spaces or tackling stairs, users can swiftly switch between modes, ensuring seamless mobility in various situations.

Emma noted, "The remote adds a layer of convenience and autonomy to the Tectus experience. It's another way we empower users to take charge of their mobility journey."

Looking Ahead: A Vision for the Future

As Tectus® revolutionises mobility assistance, Blatchford remains committed to ongoing innovation and refinement. Emma discussed plans for future iterations, including expanded weight capacity and tailored versions for diverse user demographics.

"Our biggest challenge will be making it available in all global regions. That said, we are making positive steps in the markets where we have launched, and this is the first step in making Tectus® a reality for more people globally," Emma acknowledged.

In closing, Emma reiterated the profound impact Tectus has on users' lives, citing numerous testimonials of newfound freedom and improved mental well-being. "Suddenly, they've got freedom again," she concluded. "Giving people back their life is, I think, the best way to sum up Tectus®."