Expansion in Europe hands Touch Bionics more sales

US model Rebekah Marine demonstrates a Touch Bionics hand
US model Rebekah Marine demonstrates a Touch Bionics hand
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Artificial limb-maker Touch Bionics has announced sales growth of 11 per cent last year, spurred by “strong results” in European markets.

The Livingston-headquartered business said its revenues increased to £15 million according to preliminary results for the year, during which it introduced the i-limb quantum and i-digits quantum hands, which can both be controlled with simple gestures and are said to be stronger and faster than previous models.

The devices are the first upper limb and partial hand prosthetic devices able to change grips with a simple gesture. The company told The Scotsman that the two products have been “well-received” by the market, and to date more than 5,000 i-limb wearers have been fitted worldwide.

It said wearers like the extra speed and strength, the increased range of sizes including the extra small hand, and the ability to control the hand using simple gestures.

READ MORE: Touch Bionics expands range of robotic hands

Touch Bionics also said its expansion in Europe came principally in Germany, opening a 750 square-metre “Touch Life Centre” and in France where the i-limb is now officially approved and funded by the French governmental health authorities.

Chief executive Ian Stevens said: “We are pleased with our 2015 performance.”

Touch Bionics can trace its roots back to 1963, starting with comprehensive research into developing prosthetics for children affected by Thalidomide, and it was founded by inventor David Gow. Spun out from the NHS in 2003, it is funded and supported by Archangel Investors and Scottish Enterprise, and was the first company to develop an electrically powered prosthetic hand with five independently powered fingers.

As well as electronic prosthetic hands and prosthetic fingers, its product range also includes passive silicone prostheses that closely match the natural appearance of the wearer.

Looking ahead, Stevens, who joined the firm in 2011 from surgical medical device company Mpathy Medical where he had held the role of chief executive since 2007, said Touch Bionics expects continued growth from sales of its latest electronic prosthetic hands and partial hands.

The firm added: “We continue to be very focused on innovation and will announce further developments in our i-limb technology as they become available.”