GripAble are developing gamified mobile technologies for therapy and assessment. Common equipment used for hand and arm therapy, such as thera-putty or stress balls, have not been successfully digitised. The company’s first product, GripAble™, is a digital handgrip that wirelessly connects to a mobile app, allowing patients to play fun therapy games. It has been designed to be highly portable and patient-personalised.
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GripAble began whilst working with patients at Imperial College NHS Trust.
ICHP AHSN worked with GripAble in 2016 when the company was still only a concept, conducting a key UK-NHS market research study. This kick-started the business validation for GripAble Ltd.
Working with ICHP gave us our first opportunity to build the case for transferring our ideas and technology out of academia and into the real clinical world. We learnt a lot working with the ICHP team and still use these skills and market research framework as we develop our global business case further.
Paul Rinne, CEO of GripAble
How did the Innovation Exchange help?
The ICHP project provided GripAble with an independent report to develop a ‘go-to-market’ strategy (based on semi-structured interviews, quantitative surveys and conjoint analysis). The analysis built a detailed understanding of upper limb therapy and diagnostic opportunities for GripAble, in particular: market segmentations and size of key pathologies (e.g. arthritis, musculoskeletal, neurological disorders (e.g. stroke), paediatric conditions, sports rehab; beliefs and behaviours (i.e. of patients, therapists, procurement); and provided price-point validation (across different healthcare systems).
For each pathology the market study has mapped the end-to-end rehabilitation pathway, showing the different treating clinicians and influential stakeholders involved.
The UK findings suggested that initial targeting of occupational therapists based in rehabilitation centres and acute rehabilitation units, will allow GripAble to gain traction and reach their first customers. The outcomes showed that this would provide GripAble with a springboard to access the UK self-pay market focusing initially on Stroke (106k customers) with significant upsides in musculoskeletal (e.g. below elbow trauma, 37k customers) and osteoarthritis (31k customers). Conservative estimates from the study suggested an addressable market of 1.3M people could yield ~200k GripAble customers.
This, combined with the price point validation section of the study, highlighted a value of at least £49.8million in consumer device sales, in the UK alone, allowing GripAble the opportunity to build a base case scenario for its business.
GripAble was able to build a business case and plan around these initial figures, allowing a shift away from a pure academic outfit.
Impact & Outcomes
- GripAble was selected for the Dubai 100 healthcare accelerator, closing a first investment round and Innovate UK Award (£600k).
- Pre-orders from early-adopter hospitals and distributors have been secured in the UK, Middle East and Far East, with significant interest from others globally.
- GripAble are now in the process of raising a £1.5M investment round, and have secured a £1M i4i grant. With a growing global market for accessible rehabilitative and muscle strength assessment products, the opportunity that GripAble poses is significant.