Cambridge Bio-Augmentation Systems (CBAS) is a neural engineering company developing the platform technology for the future of bionics. By developing cutting edge technologies for use inside the body, CBAS is creating a new generation of bionic medicines and prosthetics.
The healthcare sector is a highly regulated industry that makes it difficult for new players to enter the market. CBAS was looking for support to help penetrate the industry with a focus on its core technologies – using machine learning and AI to enhance chronic patient care, specifically with the use case of prosthetics. Answering the call, Digital Catapult helped CBAS secure funding to develop and market PID:Digital – a continuous, remote monitoring and evaluation system for use with patients with mobility conditions that will enable objective assessment of patient mobility and biomechanics. Most importantly, Digital Catapult introduced the company to a network of companies and influential bodies in the healthcare space who would be open to integrating PID:Digital with patient health record systems, bringing it to patients sooner.
Digital Catapult was introduced to CBAS in late 2015 following its achievement of winning the top prize in the MassChallenge UK accelerator programme. Realising the potential of the company and its future role in advancing patient care and quality of life through the use of prosthetics, Digital Catapult helped the company establish a series of tailored activities and also facilitated a number of new commercial opportunities.
The initial project involved a curated showcase in Digital Catapult’s London office. This helped CBAS to actively demonstrate the value of a remote patient monitoring system to deliver real-time data that allows healthcare providers to monitor patient performance, possible infections, or if the prosthetic needs to be swapped.
Digital Catapult’s involvement in the showcase also included showing a big budget video produced by Sky and Volvo in the showcase that, amongst other things, helped position CBAS as a highly credible and ground-breaking scale-up company.
But the showcase was just the start. After it, CBAS was granted full access to Digital Catapult’s offices, its academic connections and funders. The company was also appointed a dedicated account manager to manage the relationship between it, future investors and academia. This helped facilitate an introduction to Innovate UK who provided the company with an initial grant of over £100,000 to further develop their PID. Use of the premises also helped to position CBAS as a company with a strong London presence.
Through their association with Digital Catapult, CBAS was able to demonstrate the technology that they plan to make the ‘open standard’ treatment at the point of amputation. In addition, Digital Catapult helped the company:
- Secure a £100,000 grant from Innovate UK to develop PID:Digital, a remote monitoring system for amputees.
- Secure additional venture capital funding from UK and Silicon Valley investors to further develop the product.
- Increase permanent employee count from 2 to 10 and expanded its advisor network to focus on preparing for clinical trials.
- Expand into the US market.
What does the future hold for CBAS? They plan to have Digital Catapult as a named consortium member in an upcoming grant application for Innovate UK together with an Orthotics and Prosthetic (O&P) clinic to apply novel data analysis techniques to distributed data sources to improve amputee care and engagement by clinics. Digital Catapult will look to provide ongoing business and technical support, and give CBAS access to major corporates for potential partnership agreements, funded projects and further investment.
CBAS has also just been accepted as one of the first five companies on the Machine Intelligence Garage programme, giving them access to usually inaccessible computational power. This will allow them to make huge strides in their data processing of neural data.
Digital Catapult focuses on the sectors with the most untapped potential to deliver future economic growth and technological advancement – where digital innovation can help companies to increase productivity, efficiency and scale globally. As new challenges arise in the healthcare sector, they will continue to combine deep sector knowledge in both the application of emerging digital technologies and health to create new business opportunities, accelerate commercial growth and drive maximum impact for those organisations worked with.