Meet Alex Lewis
Alex Lewis, who lost all four limbs after a devastating reaction to Strep A in 2013, has been a part of Koalaa's journey since the very start. This year Alex and the team at Koalaa developed and successfully piloted a first-of-a-kind soft prosthetic.
The Day One ALX can be used by amputees just a few hours post-surgery.
After listening to Alex's experiences through rehabilitation it was clear there was a lack of post operative prosthetics. So we used a £140,000 grant from Innovate UK’s Sustainable Innovation Fund to research and develop the new soft prosthetic which is both sustainable and comfortable - utilising recycled materials and inspired by the softness of fabrics used in the medical industry for bandaging wounds.
The reimagined prosthetics moves away from the hard and abrasive material used in regular hard-shell prosthetics. Rather than it taking as long as six months before a patient is able to wear one, meaning precious time without their independence as they wait for their skin and muscles to heal on the affected limb, Koalaa’s self-fitting soft material prosthesis drastically reduces time to prosthesis and patients undergoing limb surgery can regain their independence much more quickly.
Jonny Voon, Head of the Sustainable Innovation Fund at Innovate UK, said: “The materials technology that the team at Koalaa have created is truly incredible and will revolutionise techniques for medical professionals and healthcare for people with limb differences. It’s so important that start-ups like Koalaa receive the funding they need to research and develop these innovations, particularly at a time where the economy is squeezed, so I’m incredibly pleased to see how the Sustainable Innovation Fund is making a real difference to people’s lives.”