Blatchford launches Tectus® - the next step in intelligent orthotics
Posted on Monday, October 16, 2023
Embrace the next step in intelligent orthotics:
Blatchford launch Tectus® - a slim, lightweight microprocessor controlled orthotic device.
16th October 2023:
Blatchford, the world-renowned prosthetics manufacturer, has today launched Tectus®, a life-changing intelligent orthotic device that enables people with partial lower limb paralysis to walk more easily, naturally and comfortably with increased confidence and safety1.
- A life-changing orthotic device that enables people with partial lower limb paralysis to walk more naturally, comfortably and safely1.
- At just 660g, Tectus® is the next generation in the development of microprocessor KAFOs (knee, ankle, foot orthoses) thanks to its uniquely small, lightweight and modular design.
- Multi-award winning manufacturer Blatchford has leveraged over 130 years of experience in developing advanced prosthetic technology to create Tectus®.
- "It feels like you’re using your own leg again," says former British soldier and seated paralympic skier, Alex Slegg.
Tectus® uses Blatchford’s proprietary Performance Response Technology™ (PRT)
and award-winning microprocessor-controlled technology to mimic the natural
function of the knee joint, resulting in life-changing mobility.
Tectus® attaches to a custom-made KAFO and features a unique, but complex
system of spring, hydraulic and sensor technology, allowing wearers to replicate a
more natural gait cycle than with any other microprocessor KAFO1. Crucial to this
'biomimicry' is Tectus®'s 'spring assist' feature, which uses an adjustable control to
ensure the leg fully extends in a timely manner during the swing phase of walking.
At just 660g, Tectus® is unique for its slim and lightweight design, providing increased
comfort which reduces muscle fatigue and energy expenditure1. While the modular
design allows for comfortable and flexible positioning of the device, allowing the
practitioner to bespoke fit any wearer, irrelevant of thigh shape or size.
The result of all this innovative technology is profound. Tectus® wearers can walk
faster, for longer, and with less pain and reduced trips and falls1. And with greater
mobility, comes the confidence to embrace everyday pursuits. Users can go from
descending stairs to prolonged standing with ease thanks to 5 activity modes, which
also enable walking at varying speeds, tackling uneven terrain and controlled smooth
sitting. An additional training mode is also included to help practitioners set up and
configure the brace.
Finally, Tectus® gives wearers freedom to move on their own terms. Unlike other
microprocessor KAFOs, Tectus® allows users to switch between mobility modes on
the actual module via a digital display or using a discreet hand held remote control.
Battery status, step count and safety warnings are all visible at a glance. Further
peace of mind comes from the 18-hour battery life and ability to charge from 0 to
100% in just two hours.
Alex Slegg had the opportunity to test Tectus® before its launch, as part of the
product’s clinical evaluation. The British seated paralympic skier and former British
soldier was delighted with the results:
“Tectus® was well beyond my expectations. The difference in adding a microprocessor, essentially a computer, to my leg was pretty mind-blowing. There’s nothing else out there like this. It almost feels like you’re using your own leg again. I can descend a set of stairs leg over leg, looking like anyone else, and just as fast as anyone else. In busy environments I don’t feel anxious or feel like I’m going to get knocked over. It’s a great feeling... I finish every day with much more energy than I used to have. I go into every situation with less planning, less anxiety - I can just enjoy the experience."
Alfie Wright, a British para-powerlifter also took part in the Tectus® trials:
"When I first tried the Tectus® I cried, it was like a revolution. All of a sudden I had freedom. It was the best thing in the world. It allows me to walk without crutches. It allows me to be safe. It allows me to do all the things an able-bodied person can do but with this bit of kit on my leg. I can get up slopes. I can walk on grass. I can walk on cobbles. It just gives you that peace of mind that you’re not going to fall and you’re going to be able to walk fluidly."
"Tectus® has transformed my life. Before wearing it I was just existing, but now I’m living. And because of the improvements to my physical health, my mental health has improved ten-fold."
Alfie Wright - Tectus® wearer
Emma Scowen, Product Manager at Blatchford, said:
"With the launch of Tectus®, Blatchford is moving into a new market where the options are currently very limited for wearers. Stance control products are functional, but they don't give people the freedom to fully embrace daily life. While other microprocessor KAFOs can be considered heavy and bulky, Tectus® has been created to be as minimally unobtrusive and flexible as possible, enabling more comfort and freedom. We’ve taken our world-leading technology in prosthetics and applied it to orthotics, creating a truly life-changing product that can make a difference to so many people globally."
"Tectus® is all about putting people first and changing lives. Tectus® is the first of many products Blatchford will be bringing to market which is focussed on the patient as an individual and helping them get the best out of life. We’re embarking on a series of launches which will accelerate the use of our technology to maximise the human impact of orthotics and prosthetics."
Paul Roberts, Blatchford CEO
1Blatchford Tectus Case Study, May 2023, Document 1418.v1, Vanessa Walters