Inali, a company founded by a young Indian entrepreneur, produced a light, easy-to-use, and affordable prosthesis. Its main target is the Indian market, where many amputees cannot afford to buy expensive imported prostheses.
About 22 million people worldwide suffer from a disability, including 8 million children. “In India alone, 40,000 people lose their forearms every year and 85% remain without a solution. Unfortunately, most of these patients do not have access to modern prosthetics, which cost thousands of dollars,” says Prashant Gade, founder of the Indian company Inali. The 27-year-old entrepreneur decided to solve the problem with a profitable 3D prosthesis. The light, easy to use and affordable prosthesis costs between 250 and 3,400 euros and adapts to the patient’s morphology.
A prosthesis controlled by brain signals
“In contrast to prostheses that are controlled by muscle movements, our robotic arm is based on brain impulses. The sensors register the nerve signals and send the action to be triggered to the processor. This makes the arm more precise because muscle movements are difficult to detect in people with burns, a lot of body fat, or even sweat,” says Prashant Gade. The prosthesis is made of silicon and polyethylene for lightness and aesthetics, with an internal mechanism made of steel. With a total weight of 450 grams, it can lift loads of up to 10 kg, grab objects, or move fingers individually.
Inali is now the largest supplier of prosthetic arms in India, with more than 2,000 distributed prostheses, 700 of which were given away for free. It is also targeting Bangladesh and Africa. Its main advantage is of course its accessibility compared to imported prostheses. Since it is manufactured locally, Inali’s bionic prosthesis can be replaced with the same ease. It promises a processing time of two days for a short repair and replacement (the arm has a service life of about three years).
Each arm is modeled in 3D before manufacture
“Thanks to the 3DEXPERIENCE laboratory, we were able to test all our products and verify that they work perfectly, such as interference between fingers or assembly problems. We were able to model each arm before making a physical unit, which saved a lot of time, energy, and money,” says Prashant Gade. The contractor was able to perform numerous tests on patients that helped him improve his design. For example, the first version contained two heavy batteries that were difficult to support after a certain period of time. “So I used a cell phone battery, and when the patient is not using his arm, he can even charge his phone on it! ».
For the Coronavirus pandemic, the start-up also developed a prototype of an intelligent ventilator in less than ten days. The latter allows you to adjust the flow and oxygen pressure according to the patient’s breathing. It also gives an alarm if the amount of oxygen is too low or if the pressure is too high. Several samples were sent free to hospitals during the pandemic. In the future, Prashant Gade plans to produce various types of cost-effective prostheses. Since the market is very competitive, the speed of development is of the utmost importance.
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